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Keewatin Farm Field Day

July 20, 2018

$40 - $50

To Register, Visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/keewatin-farm-field-day-tickets-46115511737

Or call (306) 535-3456

Located on the lovely McNeil-Oddie farm 20 minutes North of Regina, this field day will be full of interesting presentations, networking, field tours, and equipment demos. Lunch and beverages will be provided and the day will conclude with a delicious supper to fill you up for the drive home. Come prepared for the weather, rain or shine! Click here for directions to farm.

Guest Speakers:

*Joanne Thiessen Martens, B.Sc.: Joanne Thiessen Martens is part of the Natural Systems Agriculture Lab at the University of Manitoba, where her work has included research and extension on organic nutrient management, grazed green manures, cover crops, and farm system co-design. She is one of the co-authors of the Organic Field Crop Handbook, 3rd edition, published by Canadian Organic Growers, and has contributed to many other research and extension publications, as well as webinars, conferences and training sessions for farmers and agronomists.

Topics: Providing Knowledge and Tools for Nutrient Management on Organic Farms, and Cover crop grazing; what adding livestock can do for you.

*John Stavrinides, Ph.D.: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, U of R
John completed his doctorate in microbial genomics at the University of Toronto in 2007, and his postdoc at the University of Arizona in 2009. He joined the Department of Biology at the University of Regina in 2009, and began a research program focused on host-microbe interactions, bacterial pathogenesis, and antibiotic discovery. He currently manages a very talented research group made up of 6 graduate students, 4 undergraduate students, and a research technician.

Topic: Harnessing a host-restricted plant pathogen for the development of a bioherbicide for Canada thistle
Canada thistle remains a major challenge for organic producers.  Populations of this hardy weed have been increasing steadily over the last 10 years in the prairie provinces.  Canada thistle competes for light, water, and nutrients, with 14 shoots per square meter reducing wheat yields by 38%, and 20 shoots per square meter reducing canola yields by 24%, translating into millions of dollars in losses.  For organic producers who do not use chemical herbicides, Canada thistle management can be challenging.
The objective of this research is to develop an effective organic bioherbicide using the bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tagetis (Ptg). Ptg is host-restricted, infecting Canada thistle as well as annual and spiny sowthistle, ragweed, and dandelion.  During infection, Ptg produces a toxin called tagetitoxin, which results in plant bleaching, reduced vigour, stunted growth and inhibition of flowering.  Previous field studies with Ptg are promising, since Canada thistle in soybean fields treated with Ptg become stunted, produce less seed than non-treated plants, and produce 80% fewer flower buds per plant.
Our research aims to identify the most virulent Ptg strains in our collection that cause the most bleaching on Canada thistle. In addition to single strain formulations, we will also create and evaluate mixtures of strains that may enhance aggressiveness. In parallel, we will be evaluating bacterial mixtures for potential application as pre-emergent weed control to attempt to stunt emerging vegetative buds. Lastly, we will identify the tagetitoxin biosynthetic genes, purify the toxin, and evaluate its potential as a standalone herbicide. The development of effective and inexpensive bioherbicides for Canada thistle will help provide an additional means of controlling weed populations on organic farms, thereby increasing crop productivity and yield, and increasing profits for producers.

* Oleksandr Alba, M.Sc. Candidate: U of S

Oleksandr Alba is originally from southern part of Ukraine. He was raised in a family of agricultural engineers, so was passionate about agriculture since childhood. In 2015, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Agronomy/Crop Science at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine in Kiev. The weed science research program at the University of Saskatchewan inspired him to start a Master degree program with Dr. Steven Shirtliffe from the Department of Plant Science. During his master program he presented his results at numerous organic field days and conferences and developed extension recommendation on best weed management practices for weed control in organic pulse crops in a form of a video and “one pagers” extension sheets. Currently, he is finishing his graduate program in area of Weed Ecology and Agronomy at the University of Saskatchewan. During 2016-2017 field season, he was working on the project examining the effect of mechanical weed (rotary hoeing, harrowing and inter-row cultivation) and crop seeding rate on yield and weed suppression in organically grown field pea and lentil.

Topic: Organic Weed Management-Latest research on Mechanical & Cultural Weed Control, & Mechanical Weed Control Profitability

Equipment Demonstrations:

The day will feature equipment demonstrations including a rotary harrow, inter-row cultivator, and the Treffler Harrow https://manatmachine.com/en/products/tined-harrow/

There will also be a grain cleaner demonstration of the Aeromeh CAD-10 Separator http://aeromeh.com/eng/sad10/. Attendees are invited to bring a few pails of your unclean grain to test it out! 

ADOPT Research Project Demonstration Plot Tours

Last year the field day attendees viewed year one of the ADOPT Research Project’s various plots testing methods of control for Canada Thistle, and the impact of livestock on weeds and nutrients, however due to the extremely dry season there were little results to view. We have started over this year and are hoping for more cooperative weather so there may be some better results to observe!

The project was supported by the Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) initiative under the Canada-Saskatchewan Growing Forward 2 bi-lateral agreement.

We hope you will join us for this great day on the Keewatin farm!


A big thank you to our Sponsors of this field day so far:


July 20, 2018
$40 - $50


TCO Cert


Keewatin Farm
RR 1 Stn Main
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 2Z1 Canada
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