Summer Field Tours
(Above) Linda Hall speaks to farmers about improving yield and quality through agronomic practices, July 19.
Summer time is the perfect opportunity for field tours and Alberta Barley’s research manager David Simbo has been criss-crossing Alberta, learning more about the commission’s research and interacting with our members.
Applied Research Associations have been an effective tool to disseminate research findings through demonstrations and through their extension events. Therefore, partnering with Applied Research Associations and participating in their field days and extension events is one method of extending barley research to the farming community.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and University of Alberta July 19, St. Albert
The field day started with a tour to the cereal site in St Albert. Sheri Strydhorst and Linda Hall gave presentations on the trials they had established. Sheri Strydhorst showed demonstration trials on the effect of Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) on wheat and the consequence of applying at the wrong growth stage. She also explained, with examples of plants that had been seeded at least a week apart, how to stage cereals. Some of the demonstrations also included the effects of fungicide applications, different seeding rates, and different seeding depths. The tour then visited the field with Dean Spaner from the University of Alberta who had a demo of the different wheat and barley varieties. The tour also visited the RVT cereal trials which were seeded at Bon Accord.
Battle River Research Group Field Day Aug. 1, 2017, Killam
David Simbo made a short presentation on barley research activities funded by Alberta Barley. The regional variety trials for barley and other crops were visited. A cover crop mix made up of seven crops, which could be used to improve soil health was also visited. A six-inch wide cylinder was sunk into the spot where the cover crops were side and another away from the unseeded area less than two metres apart. Water was poured into both cylinders and the time taken by water to infiltrate both cylinders was compered. The cover crops seem to increase water infiltration compared to the uncovered area. Two Alberta Barley delegates for the region were also present at the event.
Chinook Applied Research Association Soil Health and Field Day Aug. 3, Oyen
The day started with a welcome address by the manager of Chinook Applied Research Association Dianne Westerlund. Talks were presented on the regional variety trial (RVT) for barley and other cereals as well as a fertilization trial with wheat as the test crop. Neil Whatley from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry presented on peas and lentils. A talk was also presented on the cover crop mix, which could improve soil health. The cover crop was presented an as alternative to a fallow with no crop as the resulting mixture of crops could be grazed or bailed and used to feed livestock. Clair Langlois, cereal extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry gave presentation on cereal health and pest management, which included diseases management strategies, disease resistant varieties and higher yielding varieties.
Mackenzie Applied Research Field Day and Trade Show Aug. 11-12, Fort Vermilion
The MARA field day took place at their research sites in Fort Vermilion. The bus tour started with a visit to field-scale fungicide trial on wheat. Next stop was a similar fungicide trial with barley as the main crop. In the barley field, the farmer gave details on the seeding rate, fungicide used, growth stage when the fungicide was applied and other agronomic details. From the barley field, the visited the hemp trial and cereal RVTs. Clair Langlois and David Simbo spoke about the wheat and barley RVT trials, respectively. After the field visits, the group returned to the MARA office where Kristina Polziehn gave a presentation about agronomy on the farm with topics ranging from crop rotation to weed management among others.