Crop Diagnostic School 2016
Crop Diagnostic School provides a hands on learning experience for farmers and agronomists from across Saskatchewan. Rotating around the province, the 2016 event was held in Swift Current during the last week in July. The ministry staff offers the one-day learning opportunity over the course of three different dates. Attendees are randomly divided into four groups to circulate through the various stations. On the first day of the event, SaskCanola representatives acted as team leaders to lead the groups through all of the stations.
The crop specialists with the Ministry of Agriculture spend the better part of the year planning the stations which will help attendees learn about the production challenges that may be faced during the crop year. Stations focused on weeds, diseases, insects, herbicides, and soil fertility.
I often find the insect sections the most interesting. I am not sure why, perhaps it is the fact that farmers need to remember that there are both good and bad when it comes to insects. Some bugs will wreak havoc on the crop and impact yields in a negative way, while some act as predators to other insects, and of course we have our pollinator friends in the bee population.
We're all aware of the increase in disease pressure as a result of the recent wet years in our province. So the creepy-crawleys might be my favourite, but perhaps the disease station is of the utmost importance to our farmers and agronomists. Before Kaeley Kindrachuk and Barb Zeisman provided their expertise on disease management, the delegates were given a quiz to identify some of the more common pathogens faced in the field.
As usual, the Ministry of Agriculture staff did a great job organizing this event, and SaskCanola is a very proud supporter of the hands on learning experience!