News Briefs – for Aug. 29, 2011

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NIRS Equipment Grant Is Available

Up to $20,000 of funding is available for the purchase of Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) equipment in Alberta. The purpose of the grant is to support the adoption of NIRS by the Alberta agriculture community, both livestock and crop sectors. Eligible applicants include individuals and companies with operations in Alberta, including farms, feeders, feed processors and related research and analytical organizations actively working with feed ingredients such as grains, vegetable proteins, coproducts and forages/roughages. The funds are provided by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and are being administered by the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund.

The initial priority of directing funds to Feeding Initiative projects has been met and the fund priorities are open to the broader industry. More information and application forms are available at: www.acidf.ca/feeding

Take steps to control late blight

An Alberta Agriculture horticulture specialist is warning gardeners and commercial growers to take steps to control late blight, which caused widespread damage to potatoes and tomatoes in 2010.

“In season, commercial potato and market garden crops are at risk to late blight, as are all other plantings of potatoes and tomatoes,” says Robert Spencer.

Late blight symptoms include water-soaked lesions that can grow and spread rapidly, with lesions not contained by leaf veins. In wet conditions, a fluffy growth may develop on the underside of leaves on the margins of lesions.

“If you find plants showing suspicious lesions, it is recommended that you dispose of infected material as quickly as possible, removing diseased parts (small scale) or killing-out plants so disease cannot develop further.”

For more information visit ARD’s Agri-News website.

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