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Cypress ag field staff targeting weeds

Posted on July 9, 2024 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

During the Cypress County Agricultural Service Board Meeting that took place on June 25, Agricultural Supervisor Lisa Sulz provided Council with the Agricultural Fieldman Report.

Sulz began by stating that seven summer staff returned to work in May 2024 and since then, they have participated in various training opportunities: one completed the Authorized Assistant course, seven completed ATV training, fire extinguisher training and attended the Corteva training day in High River and weed school in Brooks, and nine staff completed the Transportation of Dangerous Goods course.

Sulz also reported that preparation of requested documentation for the 2024 ASB Field Visit is underway, and they would like to have most of these documents by July 12, 2024, to review to have an idea of what the ASB programming looks like before the in-person visit on July 29, 2024.

Dutch Elm Disease traps, Sulz reported, were put up in the hamlets along Highway #1 and at Wildhorse
and One Four the beginning May, and the traps will lure Elm Bark Beetles that may carry the disease that is devastating to elm trees. The traps, Sulz explained, will be replaced in July and sent to Olds College for analysis. Sulz explained that Diamondback moth traps were up for 6 weeks near two canola fields in the county, and they caught the moths that are blown in from the south to indicate their presence and forecast the populations. Bertha armyworm
traps, Sulz said, are also now up for six weeks in two canola fields.

In terms of weed inspections and control, Sulz stated, weed inspectors spent time looking for leafy spurge sites for biocontrol and Control release again this year.

“We have been approved for 5 releases through the AEPP program as well as an $8000 grant for releases on Bed and Shore, which total 14 releases through AEPP,” said Sulz. “We have also bought an additional 6 releases, funded from the ASB budget.

There will be 20 released this year.” On May 14, Sulz said, there was German Statice found growing and German Statice is an unregulated plant that seems to be invasive in parts of the county. Staff, Sulz explained, dug out the plants they
found at this location.

“A couple other sites were also inspected which we had reports for, but no plants were found at either spot,” said Sulz.

Inspections, Sulz explained, were also conducted on hoary cress, baby’s breath, scentless chamomile and diffuse, spotted and Russian knapweeds, and Field bindweed and toadflax will be coming up, and they found another area of Black Henbane and were asked about burdock control, and downy brome has been widespread again this spring, so they dealt with it on a complaint basis and in areas that have been troublesome the past few years.

“Spraying and digging plants have been methods used in controlling weeds so far this year.,” said Sulz.

“Downy We spent a lot of time and herbicide on it this year, and we hope to see the results in 2025.

We used a pre-emergent herbicide that will stop the seeds from growing next year.”

Sulz stated that one portable seed cleaning plant was also inspected and licensed this spring.

Other important items that Sulz touched upon were the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health and Grazing, which will be held from December 10-12, 2024, in Edmonton.

“We have it in our business plan to pay for the registration for one person to attend this conference,” said Sulz.

“The registration fee is $475, but accommodation, travel, parking, extra meals will not be included in the registration fee, banquet ticket and any other expenses will be at the expense of the person receiving the free ticket for registration.”

Finally, Sulz shared that The Agricultural Processing Industry Directory is now available on Alberta.ca at https://wwww.alberta.ca/lookup/agricultural-processing-industry-listings.aspx.

“This directory is used by Canadian and International organizations to connect with agricultural processing businesses and associations in Alberta,” said Sulz.

“It’s kind of neat and it’s just got a bunch of different businesses in Alberta that are selling their products and stuff related to agriculture.”

A motion was made to receive the report as presented and the motion was carried.

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