Farmers will be out in the fields as always this summer, but on July 7, 8, and 9, it’ll be for school rather than crop production.
Southern Applied Research Association’s (SARA) annual diagnostic field school in Lethbridge is an opportunity for producers to gain hands-on experience about the latest technologies and agronomic methods, says Chris Procyk, one of the school’s organizers.
“The field school is important because it takes a lot of the theory that is explained at meetings and conferences puts it into the field through hands-on, interactive training,” says Procyk. “I think most guys are like me and learn the most by actually seeing something in action.”
Featured topics this year include winter peas, lentils, barley and triticale, and agronomic tools such as plant densities and pesticide and fungicide application timing. The school will provide information about different soil sampling methods, and how to interpret lab results, use precision tools, and get most “bang for your buck” when it comes to on-farm research, says Procyk.
There will also be sessions on Contans (biocontrol of sclerotinia in canola) and nutraceuticals for the control of malaria.
Participants register for one day only, as all three days feature the same sessions.
New this year is an in-field trade show of small industry plots, marketing displays and equipment manufacturers. Rather than a guided industry update, as done in previous years, Procyk says the trade show will allow participants to wander from display to display and chat with whomever they please.
Typically, the school draws about 300 participants over the three days. Producers interested in the field school can register by calling Chris Procyk or Ken Coles at 403-381-5118.