Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 22, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Rain Needed In South E. II. IIQBBS Agricultural Engineer Southern Alberta farmers do not need to be reminded that the last six months of 1969 were very dry. From July to De- cember, precipitation at Leth- bridge was 4.5 inches below normal. During the remainder of the winter there has been about a normal amount of snowfall but this averaged less than one inch of moisture per month. Studies at the Leth- bridge Research have shown that only a small pro- portion of winter precipitation is retained in the soil until spring seeding time. Conse- quently, any field tihat was cropped last year and not .fall- irrigated will have very little reserve moisture this spring. Spring rains are far more ef- ficient than either fall or win- ter precipitation in contribut- ing to moisture reserves. But, unless amounts of precipitation this spring are substantial, fanners should be very cau- tious about recropping their dryland stubble fields. Those who farm irrigated land and did not fall-irrigate will prob- ably need to water sooner than they normally would. Irrigation fanners should pay particular attention to the amount of reserve moisture in each field. It will indicate tow scon they should irrigate and how much water they will need to apply. Knowledge of initial soil moisture is equally impor- tant to those farmers who rely on the Irrigation Gauge pro gram as a basis for schedulmg irrigation. This program is de- signed to predict crop require- ments throughout am area dur- ing the growing season. Initial sou moisture and precipitation for a particular field may dif- fer from that of the district as a whole. Thus, the crop in a field that is drier than most may suffer before irrigation is called for. In fact, the more exactly spring soil moisture, seasonal precipitation, and crop growth can be determin- ed and applied in the Irrigation Gauge program, the more suc- cessful it will be. CATTLE NUMBERS DOWN Cattle and calf numbers as of June 1, 1969 in Canada were estimated to be down 1 per cent from June 1, 1968. Friday, May 52, 1970 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAtD 13 SYSTEM AT WORK Sprinkler irrigation systems have come into their own in southern Alberta over the past few years, and more make the scene every year. Artificial systems such as Jhis "automatic roll" greatly increase a farmers chance for higher yields, and literally rule out the danger of drought. There were acres of irrigable land in Alberta in 1968. Agri-Gag The oWest member of a lo- cal farm organization listened quietly at a recent meeting then calmly pointed out the flaws in several super-ambi- tious plans set farth by the grcoip's Big Thinkers. "Blast it, said one firm- ly, "do you have to throw cold water on "Cold countered the old-timer, "just naturally re- sults whsu a let of hct air gets on thin ice." Head Start For Alberta Task Force Guidelines By J. G. C ALP AS Regional Agriculturist, Alberta Dent, of Agriculture, Lethbridge. If the many findings and rec- ommendations contained in the Canadian Agricultural Task Force Report, just made .public in Ottawa this week, are a blue- print for Agriculture in the sev- enties, th'en Alberta has al- ready made a good start in that direction. Without, minimizing the seriousness of the present wheat situation, ij. can be said that we are somewhat more fortunate than our sister prai- rie provinces because of exist- ing diversity in livestock enter- prises. Here in the south the ir- rigation base adds to the di- versity and potential future ad- justment and opportunity. The central theme of the 475-page Task Force Report ap- parently centres on market orientation and indicates prai- rie opportunity to shift to re- grassing and beef expansion. The provincial Department of Agriculture has already an- nounced its intention to very definitely get involved in mar- keting and agricultural product promotion, largely by support to specific commodity groups in their efforts. Promotion beamed at consumers and trade commissions with an eye to Pacific rim export potential are already underway and will be expanded. The Alberta for- age assistance program for re- grassing is underway and being well received across the prov- ince, complimenting the very controversial Federal Lift pro- gram. This program is expect- ed to assist with returning 000 acres to grass this year. It has been more evident to our District Agriculturists in this winters programs than ever before, that farmers are seeking much more in-depth in- formation and that they are thinking very critically and analytically of what goes on beyond their farm gate in the marketing chain. We are wit- nessing the farmers seriously questioning their own organiza- tions, established policies and past traditions. Orientation to single specific commodity groups is taking place and is desirable. The Task Force has outlined some real challenges for. the agricultural industry during the seventies, but we have a great deal of confidence in southern Alberta's, progressive farmers to meet that challenge and ad- Calendar Of Farm Events May 26 29 Calgary Prairie Breeders A.I. School. May 28 Lethbridge Southern Alberta Poultry Council Banquet (Mr Don Potter Guest Speaker) June 1 Coaldale Southolm Cpalbridge Angus Sale June 3 Mountain View Pocket Gopher Control Demon- stration (Burrow Builder Machine) June 4 6 Red Deer Annual Convention Alberta Institute of Agrologists 'Food for the Seventies" theme June 6 Claresholm 4-H Beef Show and Sale., June 6 Bassano 4-H Beef Show, and Sale June 6 Edmonton University of Alberta Feeders' Day June 8 10 Banff Cattle Marketing Workshop June 10 Brooks Southern Alberta Poultry Council Tour (Moretnesen Farms and Prov. Hort Station) June JO Brooks Late Spring Bull Sale June 12 Foremost 4-H Beef Sale. June 16 Oardston-Spring Field Day June 17 Champion Tillage Field Day June 20 Hillspring Mountain View Beef Breed Tour (British Breeds, New Import Breeds and Crosses) June 20 Vulcan 4-H Beef Show and Sale June 26 Taber Sprinkler Irrigation Field Day (Wheel move systems) July 3.4 _ Brooks 4-H Beef Show and Sale July 5-9 Ottawa Annual Convention Agric. Inst. of Canada July 7-8 Vauxhall Taber M.D. 4-H Beef Show and Sale June 10-11 Calgary World Charolais Show and Sale June 10-12 London, Ontario Annual Convention Can- adian Seed Growers Assoc. June 13-21 Lethbridge Livestock Pesticides Institute (International) July 16-18 Lethbridge Lethbridge and District 4-H Show and Sale July 19-23 Southern Alberta Ontario Beef Association Tour July 19-25 Goldeye Lake Junior F.U.A. Youth Seminar for southern Alberta districts) July 20-25 Lethbridge Lethbridge Exhibition Irrigation Theme "Water Wonderland" July 24-25 Manberries American Society of Range Man- agement Tour July Medicine Hat Medicine Hat districts and County of Forty Mile 4-H Beef Show and Sale. justment. Much evidence of this can be documented already from their actions this winter. However, their new motto seems to be "what can we do for rather than, "what should the government More segments of the in- dustry are asking for check offs to establish a fund for market research, educational projects and product promotion. Various Divisions of our De- partment are responding to ever more sophisticated de- mands from producers for in- formation and Extension pro- grams, usually tailor-made to specific requests and adapted to the particular district. While it is difficult to equate activ- ties with achievement, both farmers and DA's must certain- ly receive credit for trying. The name of the game is "com- petition" and all segments of the industry in Alberta are striving to keep Alberta's farm- ers in the game or improve their position both in the do- mestic and export markets. This past winter for exam- ple, District Agriculturist statis- tics for the months of January, through April reflect this ef- fort. For the nine district offices in southern Alberta, the following figures are indicative of the trend. District Agriculturists' Winter Southern Alberta (Showing increases over same period in 1969) Total meetings held and at- tended 599, (up 178) Total attendance, meetings and courses (up Total farm visits 878, (up 119) Total office interviews (up. Total telephone calls (in and out) (up Total letters received and forwarded (up 613) Circular letters (up B u 11 e tins and Publications distributed (up In a second part of this ar- ticle next week, we intend to outline and document some ma- jor activities, intentions and achievements by farmers and the industry in southern Alber- There is significant adjust- ment taking place which should strengthen the position of agri- culture in Alberta's economy as well as this province's share of the national picture. 49th Annual Feeders Day In Edmonton The University of Alberta's 49th annual "Feeders will be held June 6 at the Uni- versity of Edmonton Research Station. Animal scientists will discuss and describe in detail, tire most recent experiments and re- search on the practical and the- oretical problems of feeding, breeding, housing and livestock management. NEW John- son, has taken up duties as. associate district agriculturist in Lethbridge, following a one year posting as associate D.A. at Claresholm. Mr. Jolmson received his education at the University of Manitoba. He is married. Wheat Reduction .Program May Cause Aphid Outbreak The federal government's "no- grow" wheat reduction program could inadvertently, set the stage for a build-up in the grain apliid problem in Western Canada, says an Alberta insect special- ist. Dr. A. M. Harper, entomolo- gist at the federal research sta- tion at Lethbridge, points out that if there is a large increase in the acreage seeded to cover crops this year, and if wind, temperature, moisture and crop conditions are right, there could be a serious aphid outbreak like that experienced in 1955. In that year1, Dr. Harper recalls aphids were blown northward into Manitoba from the United States and then swept westward across the prairies where they were responsible for w i d e- spread crop damage. In Alberta alone an estimated acres of late-seeded barley was af- fected. According to Dr. Harper, many aphids damage plants by sucking vital juices. However some are potentially more dan- gerous as carriers or trans- mitters of diseases and viruses A farmer's only defence is to keep a close watch on crops during'July and August and i] aphids appear in significan numbers, he should be preparec to spray. The two recpmmendec chemicals are malathion and di methoate. Agrq Outlook By Sieve Bareham IT SEISMS a front has formed in Canadian agriculture, with government agricultural agencies on one ade, the Cana- dian farmer on the other, and the outcome obviously not in favor of Uie latter. This is a prime case of the "tail wagging the philosophy substantiated by one Fred Clark, foreign liaison officer for a British chemical company. In a recent conversation with Mr. Clark, I was able to get an opinion on Canadian agriculture from someone only indirectly associated with it. He pointed out that for years it-has been general know- ledge Russia, Argentina, Australia and China were entering concentrated grain producing campaigns in hopes of becoming self sufficient or competitors in world grain trade. If this1 is the case, it doesn't make much sense that only two years ago, Canadian farmers were advised to grow all the wheat they could. The farmers never knew what was hap- pening until this year when (lie horse was already drowned. The onus can't be put on the Canadian Wheat Board. It was not established as a marketing agency and is still not equipped to function as one. Blame would fall on federal agricultural officials, who have apparently forgotten about the western grain grower and his problems. Consequently, Canada is drastically behind in foreign marketing policies and rapidly being lapped by sev- eral other exporting countries. For years, the United Slates have been sending agents all over the world in search of new and diversified markets: A life insurance salesman doesn't wait for -you to 'come to him to buy life insurance, just as Canada can no longer depend on her out-moded reputation to sell her grain. Buyers do not have to come to Canada anymore, Canada must go to the buyers. Mr. Clark also pointed a finger at the relatively helpless Canadian farmer, who only has the right to grow what he wants and how he wants to grow it, but has no voice at all in what happens to his product once it leaves his hands. The farmer seems to be Ihe proverbial "whipping in the cycle. The whole affair seemed one-sided to Mr. Clark, as it does to many nowadays, but with this fact fast becoming common knowledge, a change may be in the wind. SAPC Sponsor Brooks Tour The Southern Alberta Poul- try Council will sponsor a bus tear to Brooks June 10, where members of the group will visit the Martensen Poultry Farms and the Brooks Horticultural Station. The tour will leave Leth- bridge about 8 a.m., with at Ccaldale, Taber and other points. Anyone wishing to partici- pate in the trip can contact Dick Clemis or Dr. Norman Harries, or write to Box 177, Lethbridge, Alberta. Tips On Forage Crop Seeding If you put off seeding for- ages until aftei' grain seeding is finished, it could be too late. The top inch of soil dries out quickly in the spring and this is where small forage seeds must be planted. Forages should be seeded di- rectly into undisturbed soil, says M. H. Kilcher, crop re- searcher at CDA's Swift Cur- rent, Sask., research station. Any preseeding tillage will dry out surface soil, he warns. If weeds threaten, spray with 6 to 8 ounces of 2, 4-D before seed- ing- Don't use a companion crop unless there is danger of soil erosion. It uses soil moisture needed for the growing forage crop. If you must use' a com- panion crop, seed it first at a r'educed rate in widely spaced rows. Cross seed the forage crop at a shallower depth. To cut seeding costs, you will want to stretch your seed sup- ply. Do a precise seeding job, using depth control flanges on your drill discs and 20-25 seeds per foot of row. Space rows well apart, up to 2' under dry conditions. Spray to eliminate all weed competition. Arabian Horse Show May 30-31 The 3rd annual Chinook Ara- bian Horse show will be held May 30-31 at the Lethbridge Ex- hibition grounds. About 100 horses from Alber- ta, Saskatchewan and Montana are expected to attend the show, which is open to any member of any registered Arabian horse club. A special invitation has been extended to the public. Entry forms may be obtain- ed from Mrs. George Allen, Box 2259, Tabcr, Alberta. Think a bit about ftlberta. Think a bit about'Blue'. CATTLE MARKETINGS Alberta marketed fcw- pr cattle in than the pre- vious year, a four per cent de- crease in total marketings.