WESTLOCK – The Alberta Wheat Commission is holding four tours at test plots around the province to talk to producers about agronomy solutions for producers and show some of the wheat varieties being grown at each site.
Dubbed WheatStalk, the four free events are being hosted by local research groups, with the first hosted in the Westlock area by Gateway Research Organization (GRO) July 27. Other WheatStalk tours this includes Oyen, held July 29, and will be at Falher Aug. 5 and Forestburg Aug. 12.
The Westlock event was held at a GRO crop site on GRO director Randy Pidsadowski’s farm a mile north of Pibroch, adjacent to the Sunniebend Road. By rough count, about 40 people took in the session. They were split into two groups to make it easier for all to hear the speakers and participate.
Briefly, Dr. Ross MacKenzie, retired agronomist spoke on nitrogen use on AAC Brandon and AAC Viewfield, while Dr. Sheri Strydhorst, agronomy research specialist with Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions shared insights on the use of extra nitrogen at seeding, plant growth regulators (PGR) and fungicides in wheat.
Jeremy Boychyn, Alberta Wheat and Barley commissions talked about fungicide timing on wheat, with Kristina Wormald, from Axiom Agronomy, who gave a presentation on the advantages of ultra-early seeding.
GRO manager Sandeep Nain spoke briefly on the local regional variety trials that are also at the site, while Bill Chapman, a retired agrologist with Alberta Agriculture who now works part time as a private consultant and with GRO, also shared some thoughts. To help producers understand some of the value in the seed they use, Chapman noted that there is lots of work and cost in the development and selection of each new variety.
Also noted by some of the speakers that while conditions in the area this year are comparatively dry and crops aren’t doing as well as hoped, they are still much better than in other areas, including southern Alberta and the Peace River region.