Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 3, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
12 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, September 3, TESTS WITH SURFACE IRRIGATION Len Ring ad justs the waler flow on Ihe fesl border at Bow Island lo regulate the water flow for the lesting of slope for sur- face irrigation. It is hoped lo be able to redefine the criteria For land leveling, one of the costlier aspects of Slope variance versus cos I irrisarion. The advantages of surface irrigation are les; evaporation, less expensive once sel up and the wind in no factor. The one main disadvantage is ihc longer man hours required. Ric Swiharl Photos. Efficiency of surface irrigation tested Tensionmeter tests moisture content. Soil-saver stop erosion of land. By KIC SWI1IAHT Herald Favm Editor BOW ISLAND The final results of the effect of slope changes on Llie intake rate of water with surface irrigation methods were compiled here to- day at a special lest plot. Aimed specifically at testing; the effects of downficld chan- ges on water intake patterns, the project is being run under the direction of Len Ring, hy- drologisl with the water re- sources division of Ihc depart- ment of the enviroiinicnl. "The changes in land pat- terns arc being noted and be we can discover facls which i will enable us to redefine the criteria for land levelling." said Mr. Ring. "Present criteria calls for very defined specifications for land levelling which are prov- ing in most cases to be very expensive for the farmer. "We realize there are many instances which call for sprink- Jer irrigation but we hope, with lessening expenses, to widen the use of surface irrigation." He said one of the results of the tests already noted deals with crop cover. "With thick perennial crop cover we have found the doivnficld and cross field slope variance is not as critical as a looser type of crop such as corn or sugar heels. "This means the farmer will I be able to operate his farm with the knowledge that he will I not have lo go to the pains and expense of getting the land sloped to the normal criteria, j "It will allow him to use a larger stream of water, have less worry about erosion and cut down on the lime he has; to spend in the field j THE TESTS i Carried out on 21 acres of' land broken into nine benches j with four borders each, the test I factor, slope, is varied in each instance. Bench number four, seven and nine are a straight 0.7, 0.3, and 0.5 per cent slope respec- tively for the total distance. Number two and three arc reversed witli 1.1, 0.6 and I.] per cent slope each third of the distance of 900 feet. Ben- ches five and six reverse the slopes of 0.7, 0.3, and 0.7 per cent, while bench eight is a concave shape, gradually slop ing more as the bench pro- ceeds. All benches have four Lar- ders and in each test case, bor- der number two is used as [he test plot. All the lest plots are 25 feet wide with two through six 900 feel long and the rest 1.100 lecl long. A special flume lo regulalc the amount of water turned into the lesl border has been pel up and an end flume has been set up to measure the amount of runoff. Through calculations, the amount of water used U> get the proper covering is turned onto the border and tlie ad- vance lime is measured. As soon as the water reaches the end of Ihe border, the wa- ter supply is shut olf and the recession time is measured. This is the tune for the wa- ter to slop running the length of the border The calculations recorded arc the amount of water applied, the amount of runoff, the amount retained, and amount needed in the root zone and the amount stored in the root zone. The amounl losl to deep per- culalion (the amounl of water retained in the soil minus the actual amount needed) is then calculated and the efficiency of the other factor (slope) is mea- sured. The crew of four men are us- i mg three instruments for test- i ing the moisture content of the; soil. The most complex lest in- volves radiation with ions' which reflect back to a recciv-; pr. The higher the radiation count, the moister the soil. .MOISTURE CALCULATORS As in the radiation lest, HIP moisture blocks test the mois- ture level at one, two, three and four foot levels in various spots in the test border. The moisLure blocks use Icm pcraturc and electrical resis- tance (o determine the levels. A Icnsiometer, the kind that i is usable by the average er. is the last type u.sed. The insLrument uses water pres- sure wilh a mercury recording system lo set the level. The. higher Ihe reading on the mor- i cun scale, determined by the draw for moisture by Hie soil, Ihe dryer the soil tested, Mr. Ring said the equipment allows the crew to determine the moisture content of l.he land. "We know ihu capacity o[ the soil and know the wilting point when the land is drying and Ihis allows us to make sure the water reserve in the soil is he said. Tom And ro so If, hydrology technologist specializing in irri- gation, said Ihe land levelling job, Lhe surface rouehness, type of soil and the type of cohering CD A corn experts lo tour Sept. 7 are the factors which deter- A field corn tour, of corn seed observation of and depth of seeding, planl mine the infiltration rate. by the Alberta Corn in eastern Canada a variety of studies, row width, His job is to determine how i tec. will Lake place Tuesday present. Local growers event will also take fertilizers. lons tlie water was at a at Lhe Plant persons will plots at the Lethbridge spite of a slow start caused station on the advance and at the Lethbridge Research Station aL 8 discussion with the experts of mutual Station as well as off-station plots at Cranford, a cool spring, the growth and maturity of corn in south cession stages of watering tour has generated corn tour will and Medicine is well advanced as the lo then determine hnw m u c deal of interest, to a number of grain include of very warm weather. water actually went into the azri-busmcss oeoDle. com fields from of hybrid and the testing j and good heat unit enthusiasts from as to Medicine Hat, cultural methods such during July and August. Phil Lund, technologist as of Lhe corn is now in the charge of soil physics, said Lome Donovan, a dough sLage. Harvesting for infiltration tests are conducted on four areas on each at Ihe Ottawa Research Station (Central up in meal-type should commence in the early parl of September. He has six rings IK inches in diameter in a 14 foot will definitely attend. Dr. Donovan is one of Recent survevs indicate that Canadian pigs are changing, pounds, while at this stage Ihc arc about' 20 growers with waler control corn breeders and to a study by Dr. average daily gain of fats acres of grain corn which allows him lo in Canada. He has Doornenbal of Hie snarpiy, saia southern Alberta this year. Ihc speed with which the many of the Agriculture Research figures for com silage arc ter was soaked into the now used in at Lacombe, modern resulted in a ;U growers and "Vi'itli Lhe knowledge of has for many years hogs continue Lo put in Lhe proportions acres. slope of the border and Ihc with Dr. mcaL up Lo 300 and lean arc exhibiting an in- filtration rale, it. is possible and others id the the modern pig, the interest hi com as a find the efficiency or Research Station in Lhe 1940's and early of both lean crop. livestock Iced within the faclor of hybrids suitable had a tendency to fat increased almost in distilling industries in west- rates." lie Alberta fal once they passed fashion up Lo SCO Canada indicate a very 'The only difficulty is that Dr. R. I. Hamilton, market weight. j said Dr. interest in Alberta this type of test is spotty Research Station. reason for this was "which resulted in a grain corn. These fac- by taking averages, it is Manitoba, will also be decrease in daily in the proportions point toward an excellent, sible lo come close over a the lean meat once Ihc meat and fatly tissue for a field corn in- ries of tests." It is anticipated that a weight of 150 to in Ihis province. LETHSRIOGE RESEARCH STATION i O Cattle grub extermination DU. M. A. KUAN. Toxjcologisl There is often a time lapse between a research develop- ment and its application in the field. But, in implementing sys- temic control of cattle grubs in Alberta, no such delay occur- red. Aware of Ihe successful results achieved by the Lclh- bridge. Research Slalion, the AJIxjrla dcparlTncnt nf agri- culture has launched a pro- gram, the first of il.s kind in North America, to exlcrrr.inalp cattle grubs throughout Ihe province. Under thus program at the present lime more than 50 per cent of the catllc in the province are being Ircatcd. Any country, municipality, or an im- provement district may join the program, provided if is accept- ed by 80 per ccnl nf the cattlo owners in the area. The program was first imple- mented in the Coiinly nf Wcbv khvin and has Ix'cn in there for Ihreo years. During that lime Ihc gr'ub infeslalion in the county has been re- duced from nine grubs per head lo one gnih per head. We ex- poet oven heller profrro.ss in oilier cnunlio.-i a.s I lie program expands. No county is now ns vulnerable to reinfcsiation from I untreated cattle in neighboring I counlies as was the County of j Welaskiwin early in the pro- i gram. Gallic grubs are easily con- trolled by treating the cattle i in the autumn with any one of three systemic insc-dlicidcs, or Ruclene. In Canada, .TO is the deadline for treating calllc with or Ruclcnc. But, for j treatment of cattle in southern Alberta south of Highway No. I, we recommend an earlier dead- line of October .10. The purpose of the deadline is to avoid killing the warble larvae in the esophagus of Ihe treated cattle, which results in acute csophagi- fis. Tlw larvae reach the esoph- agus of the cattle earlier in southern Alberta than in other parts of the country and, hence, Ihc earlier deadline. There is no deadline for treatment with Co-rial, although treatments early in the autumn, preferably after Ihe first frost, are recom- mended. Co-Ilal sprays can be used as early as August, for l.hc systemic control of cattle, p-uhs. Treatment Co-flat in completely eliminates I lie. risk of side effects and nlso protects cattle from bora flio.s. 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