A Soil Health and Crop Field Day will take place on July 23 at the Chinook Applied Research Association (CARA) in Oyen.

“The Field Day is intended to provide information for producers to assist them in making sound management decisions on their farms, including when and how to acquire more tools for production and risk management,” explains Dianne Westerlund CARA Manager and Forage Agronomist of CARA.

Westerlund says that the field day will begin at the CARA Center in Oyen and will include 

a tour of a field site about 10 minutes outside of Oyen. The event, Westerlund says, will also feature visits to a number of crop production and soil improvement projects with an opportunity to visit the CARA Soil Health Lab being part of that tour. 

“A small bus will carry as many participants as possible with car-pooling to transport the rest of the people attending,” Westerlund says.

Speakers will also be part of the Field Day, Westerlund says, and those speakers will be 

Crop Extension Specialist Clair Langlois, Canola Agronomist Keith Gabert, Crop Specialist Neil Whatley, CARA Soil Scientist Dr. Yamily Zavala, Westerlund, and several other industry specialists. 

Langlois, according to Westerlund, will bw talking about a trial comparing early and late seeded dates in wheat production. will also comment on a variety durum trial. Gabert will talk about different seeding rates and depths for canola and a seeding rate calculator tool which is available for producers. Whatley will talk about growing lentils and what varieties look good. Zavala will lead discussions on soil health amendments and evaluation of soil health indicators. Westerlund will lead a discussion on growing annual crops for silage or greenfeed. Industry specialists will also address evaluation of soil amendment products.

“The variety of topics and crop trials visited during the day as well as the knowledge of the specialists make it a very interesting day,” Westerlund says. “We have always tried to include relevant and timely information for our producers.”

CARA, Westerlund says, has been holding summer field days for over 30 years.  Last year’s event included 85 people, but the event generally hosts between 40 and 60 people. Westerlund says that the increase of people to last year’s field was due to CARA including the grand opening of their Soil Health Lab in the event.

“Over the years, the field day has evolved to include soil health as an important part of the day,” Westerlund says. “We now have sponsorship from Alberta’s Crop Commissions for the event and have had attendees from as far away as Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Field Days have always been a part of CARA’s annual program, as extension of information is a part of CARA’s mandate.”

The field day, Westerlund says, is intended for farmers and ranchers as well as industry specialists/consultants, but continuing education credits are also available for crop advisors. The registration fee is $30 per person and to register, people can call CARA at (403) 664-3777 or email CARA at cara-3@telus.net.

“The field day is a great opportunity to spend a day alongside other local producers learning new ideas which can be added to a producer’s production toolbox,” Westerlund says. “It is a great learning opportunity to have access to specialists who can answer questions and discuss relevant production related topics while out in the field.” 

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