CCA, Ag Fieldman
M.D. of Smoky River No. 130
This is just to give everyone a quick update on the programs and services your Agricultural Services Department staff are undertaking this year:
Shelterbelt seedlings – Will be distributed May 26-27 to all persons who placed orders. We’ll begin taking orders for 2017 on July 4, and again we will have limited quantities of certain species available so if you want those, you will want to order and pay for them early.
We’ll continue to work with Woodmere Nursery in Fairview to expand what is available, and to have more of those “in demand” species. Check with us after July 4 and we’ll know what we have and how many.
Weed and pest Inspections – will go on throughout the year, inspecting and talking with landowners and occupants about Prohibited Noxious and Noxious weeds.
Under the Weed Control Act of Alberta landowners and occupants are responsible to destroy Prohibited Noxious and control (prevent the spread of) Noxious weeds.
Pest Inspections are mostly done in the form of surveys coordinated with Alberta Agriculture, but we do investigate situations where we see crop growth which isn’t perhaps as healthy as other areas of the field (i.e. looking for Clubroot in Canola).
Surveys for pests will include Clubroot, Virulent blackleg, Grasshoppers and Fusarium graminearum. We will also likely assist with surveys for other crop issues like Verticillium wilt and Aphanomyces if requested.
We are in the process of acquiring a Special Flight Operations Certificate which will allow us to use a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS, more commonly called a drone) to assist with inspections.
Roadside vegetation control – as landowners, we are also responsible to control weeds on our properties and the biggest property the M.D. owns is our road network.
We look after weeds to prevent their spread, and we also control brush in the ditches to allow for better sightlines and drying of the road surface.
The mowing and spraying programs operate on a rotational basis to achieve vegetation control throughout the M.D.
The full cut area this year is north of Blue Bridge and west of Range Road 220.
The area where we will concentrate our spraying efforts is in the Guy/Whitemud areas.
Rental equipment – the M.D. owns and rents out certain pieces of equipment for producers including livestock equipment (cattle squeeze, loading chute, panels, calf table), landscape equipment (tree spade, tree seedling planter, mulch applicator, fertilizer and seed spreaders, seedling planting shovels), sprayers (backpacks, ATV and Estate sprayers), as well as managing Alberta Agriculture’s water pumping equipment.
We also have scare cannons to help keep waterfowl from damaging standing crops.
Other programs – we also have a wolf incentive program and coyote control program to help our livestock producers who are running into wolf or coyote predation or harassment issues with their livestock.
For the wolf program, livestock producers must sign up ahead of time and if they qualify can receive financial assistance for controlling up to three wolves on their properties per year.
For the coyote control program, if a producer is running into coyote predation issues they should contact me for help, I may be able to issue coyote control devices.
In addition, the M.D. still offers payment for wild boar ears turned in. Wild boar at large is classed as a pest under the Ag Pests Act and can be hunted (with landowner permission) at any time of the year.
Should you have any questions about any of our programs check out the M.D. website at mdsmokyriver.com or contact me, Normand Boulet, CCA Agricultural Fieldman at (780) 837-2221, ext. 115 or cell (780) 837-0043, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or follow me on Twitter, @MDfieldman.