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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 11, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta A LETHBRIDGE BESEARCH STATION Forage Crop Possibilities ALEX JOHNSTON, Kangc Ecologist Two promising ibrage crops cicer milkvetch and west e r n wheatgrass, arc receiving the attention of plant scientists at the Lethbridge Research' Sta- tion. Cicer milkvetch is a peren- nial, creeping rooted, fine- stemmed legume with while to paie yellow flowers. At matur- ity its black, bladder like seed pods contain a few alfalfa-sized bright yellow, shiny seeds. The strain of cicer milkvetch now being tested originates from an introduction made about 1930 by the late Dr. S. E. Clark, at the Dominion Range Experim e n t Station, Manyberries, Alberta. Cicer milkvetch is adapted to medium to moderately coarse- textured soils. It withstands wet and saline soils reasonably well saf appears to be more toler- ant than alfalfa to cold temper- atures. Although reputed to be non-bloating it docs contain US protein, a chemical linked to bloat in alfalfa. Germination of cicer milk- vetch is often poor, though the problem can be overcome by mechanical scarification. Seed- ling growth of this milkvetch seems to be slower than that of alfalfa. Lethbridge scient i s t s hope to select a more vigorous strain. Our tests indicate that cicer milkvetch, unlike some wild milkvetches, does not accumu- late selenium. Where selenium was added to soil in the green- house, cicer milkvetch was sim- ilar to alfalfa in its uptake of the element. Cicer milkvetch has good pos- sibilities as a forage crop for the moister parts of Alberta. It has been known to crowd out timothy in the foothills and old seedings have spread consider- able distances. It can yield as much hay as alfalfa, and in the foothills the danger of damagi by pocket gophers is less than with alfalfa. It is grazed read ily by sheep or cattle. Only a small amount of seed is avail able at present and the species must be looked upon as experi- mental. The second of the two forage crops, western wheatgrass, is a tall growing, perennial, creep- ing rooted native grass. Also known as bluejoint, blueslem or western couch grass, west- ern wheatgrass grows on the prairie in dense stands on clay soils, particularly where runoff water accumulates in the spring. It is found also on saline soils in association with grease- wood land and Atriplex or on up- association with blue grama and needle and-thread grass. Clones of western wheatgrass [rom 506 prairie locations are ng grown hi an experimental slot at the Research station. The range 'in yield of ;hese clones is great and it should not be difficult to select a superior strain. Unfortunate- ly, both yield of viable seed and percentage germination are low. These are problems that 'ertilizer experiments now un- derway may help to solve. Western wheatgrass is one of few native prasses that ap- >ear promising as forage under cultivation. It is interesting to note that most of our cultivated orages, our cereals, our nox- ous weeds, and our livestock lave come to us from other continents. This is due not to neglect of native material but rather, it seems, to superior characteristics for domestica- ion found in plants and animals rom other areas of the world. New Post For Dave Jantzie Alberta agriculture minister H. A. Ruste has announced the appointment of J. D. Jantzie as head of the field crops branch, Alberta department of agricul- ture. He succeeds 0. G. Bratyold, who recently was named direc- tor of the provincial plant in- dustry division. Mr. Jantzie, attended school at Vulcan, Alberta, and grad- uated from the University of Alberta in 1951 with a degree in agriculture and joined the Alberta department of agricul- ture a year later as assistant district agriculturist at Stet- tler. In 1953 he was promoted to the position of district agri- culturist at Coronation and for the past nine years has been district agriculturist at Clares- holm. POTATO PROCESSING PLANT November 1 is the target date for the completion of the 52 million plant being constructed two miles east- of Vauxhall for Vauxhall Foods ttd. General contractor for the dehydrating factory proper is Engineering of Calgary, while Wilbur B. Hansen of Vauxhall is constructing the two huge potato storage bins. The plant is scheduled to go "on line" in two months time producing dehydrated potatoes in co-operation with Pakwell Produce ftd. of Vauxhall, engaged in the fresh potato market. Friday, September 11, 1770 THE tETHBRIDGE HERALD 13 Rye Prospect Not Good Says Federal Economist Irrigation 'Soilmeter' WATER RESOURCES DIVISION AlBERTA DEPARTMENT Of AGRICULTURE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 3 TO SEPTEMBER 9, 1970 A THOUGHT: Procraslinalion is a pick-pocket 'resent soil moisture conditions for: Fine (Heavy) Soil Hay Sagar Beets Field Capacity. Kodiura Soil .Sugar' Ft aid' Capacity Predictions! Rainfall for the period 0.61 inches has been added to the soil moisture reserve. Within two or three weeks harvesting of sugar beets will start; if any irrigation is re- uired if should be done now for good harvest conditions. Our soilmeter shows an irrigation for heavy soil on September 7, therefore the rain- all for the period would not have done much good. At the present rate of evapotrans- iration of about one inch per week, by the end of the month there should be 68% soil loisture above wilting point which is good soil moisture conditions for harvesting. One dditional inch of moisture (rainfall) would change this soil condition to which is to get wet. Medium soil should receive.a light irrigation about September 14, so that there will e about 65% soil moisture for good harvesting conditions. The outlook for Canadian-pro- duced rye is not good this year, according to economists in the Canada Department of Agricul- ture. Canadian supplies for 1970-71 will be about 30 to 31 million aushels, but export and domes- :ic demand might only use up about 10 million bushels. This year's crop, from acres seeded last fall and an- other acres planted this spring, will be about 25 million Dushels. Demand patterns indicate fiat "domestic use as livestock 'eed will be down this year, the export demand will be down at east bushels and domes- ic food and industrial uses will likely hold steady. Prices dropped a few months ago. Rye normally sells for a premium over barley, but by June of this year the price was seven cents a bushel below bar- ley. Rye sold for 98 cents and barley for SI.05. A year ago, when barley was selling for 98 cents a bushel, rye prices were "To some extent, this may j represent a change in the de- j mand pattern between barley and says J. Carmichael of the Economics Branch, Ot- tawa. f ''While prices may have been over reacted at this particular time, the prospects lor rye are indeed rather poor, particular- ly in view of the fact that bar- ley yields in western Canada (where 89 per cent of Canada's rye is grown) are approximate- ly double those of rye. "Nevertheless, on some poor- er land (such as sand or in dry rye does better than wheat or barley, or at least is more certain. It may continue to have a role in these areas, subject to the limited demand and changed price relation- ships." On the world markets, de- mand is decreasing and exports are not likely to regain levels of past years. Western European rye pro- duction is expected to be lower this year than last because ac- reages have dropped in several countries, including France and Spain. In the United States, rye plantings last fall were up by eight or nine per cent to 000 acres, but about two-thirds of their crop is usually used as pasture. It appears likely that United States will have some increase in supplies this year and will be a stronger competitor for available export markets. In Canada, most of the rye crop is used as livestock feed. There is a small, but steady increase in the demand for rye Jin the distilling industry. Some is used to make specially! almost equal to wheat, but less breads. in Europe and Asia, rye is losing its significance as food, according to M. A. Norman of the Economics Branch. "Rye is used mainly as a bread grain in the Soviet Union, Poland and other parts of East- ern Europe; elsewhere it is used predominantly as a feed grain. As an animal feed, it is Mrs. Norman says. I3oland is tlw only major world producer of rye that has not followed the general world trend toward smaller crops. Other important Eastern Euro- pean rye producing countr i e s, particularly East Germany and Czecho Slovakia, had much smaller rye crops last year than the 1960-64 average. Erosion Control Urged This Fall The condition of the soil on summerfallow land this fall can have a very significant bearing on the amount of wind and water erosion that takes place next winter and spring. A. W. Goettel, head of the soils branch of the Alberta plant industry division, stresses that soil erosion prevenlative measures are more important than ever this year because of the estimated 20 per cent in- crease in summerfallow acre- age in the province. Ensuring that there is sufficient crop residue left on these fields is probably the single most im- portant factor in preventing soil erosion. Crop residues include straw and stubble from last year's crop, a cover crop and even late fall weed growth. It is only necessary to remove weeds from summerfaliow land in the late fall if they include such deep-rooted perennials as thistles and couchgrass. Then, if the siimm.erfallow contains only patches of these deep- rooted perennials, Mr. Goettel suggests cultivating the patches and leaving the rest of the field alone. Leaving the soil surface in a rough, cloddy condition will prevent some erosion, but it should be remembered that the surface soil structure breaks down during the winter and that it may be susceptible to erosion in the spring, par- is jxnosed to al- ternate freezing and thawing. Hay-Drying An answer to the farmer's for a hay-drying forecast may be on the way. Metcrolog- ical scientists at the Canada agriculture plant research in- stitute at Ottawa have devel- oped equipment and methods that will measure latent evap- oration rates. At Fredericton, N.B., results so far indicate that the scientific measure- ments correspond with drying rates for hay. Calendar Of Farm Events September 13-16 Jasuer Canadian Agricultural Chemical Assoc. annual meeting. September 21-23 St. Adele, P.Q. International rapeseed conference and Rapeseed Assoc. of Canada annual meeting. September 21 October 1 Vancouver Canadian Hatchery Federation annual meeting. October 5-8 Lethbridge Washington state cattleman's tour of southern Alberta. November 13-21 Toronto Royal Winter Fair. November 18-20 Edmonton Alberta poultry industry con- ference. November 19-20 Brooks Alberta Potato Commission and Alberta Potato Growers Assoc. annual meeting and potato harvest ball. November 18 Edmonton Alberta Turkey Assoc. annual meeting. Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 Pineher Creek Beef Nutrition Short Course. (Registration deadline Sept. 21) Mink Count Drops Renovations SPECIALS Alt FLOOR MODELS IN STOCK MUST BE SOLD TO MAKE ROOM FOR RENOVATIONS. IN ORDER TO HAVE GREATER FLOOR AREA, EVERYTHING MUST GO. SUNBEAM HEDGE TRIMMERS 12 ONLY Regular 24.95 SALE PRICE 18 .75 SUNBEAM MOWERS Regular 129.95 SALE PRICE 105 .00 WHILE TH6Y LAST WITH CATCHER JACOBSON LAWN MOWER Regular 139.95 WITH CATCHER JACOBSON ROTO TILLER Regular 199.95 179J TRACTOR TYPE RIDING MOWER 2 ONtYl 7 H.P. HIGHEST BID OVER PLUS MANY MORE UNADVERTISED SPECIALS ON DISPLAY SNOW MOBILES An estimated mink jkits will be fed on Alberta mink ranches this year com pared with in 1969. According to the supervisor of fur farms with the Alberta department of agriculture, R W. Gillies, a substantial de- crease in the number of mink producers is responsible1 for the drop in kits this year. He reports that there are now only about 100 licensed fur farms in the 'province com- pared with 135 a year ago. This year's average litter per mink bred was 3.65 compared with 3.5 last year. Mr. Gillies says that the Al- berta government's interim as- sistance loan will be a great help in bringing the current kit crop to maturity. It also en- abled mink ranchers to hold over some of last year's pelts until the August and Septem- ber fur sales in (he hope that prices will be better than they were last spring. Many Alberta mink farmers, says Mr. Gillies, are question- ing the wisdom of continuing their operations. Unless the fur market improves, it is doubtful whether prodi'rers will receive much, if anything, for this year's efforts. The. latest statistics from (he Canada Mink Breeders Asso- ciation show that up to June 30 of this year Canadian mink pelts were sold at CMB j sponsored sales for an average price of After selling and promotional charges have been deducted, this leaves the mink farmer with an average price of just over S10 per pell. According to Mr. Gillies, per pelt: does not even cover the cost of raising a mink in this country today. MOTOR MOWER 3rd AVE. S. PHONE 327-2669 REFUGEES About 11200 Czcchoslovakian refugees came to live in Can- ada following the invasion of their homeland in Acorci- ing to the department of man- power and immigration, 80 per cent of the refugees arc now employed. Get a taste of the good times with Old Vienna Lively sip after sip. HERE IN ALBfcRTA, O'KEEFE BREWING COMPANY LIMITED ;