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Updates and information from across the industry 
July 24, 2009 - Vol 1, Issue 10
Articles In This Issue
Forage Market Price Survey Now Available
Irrigation Opportunity in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Prairie Places
Drought Reaction from Federal Government
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Dear Leanne

Baling HayHaying season is in full swing around the province (finally!).  Many are finding that yields are below average due to the cool dry spring.  Livestock producers are already thinking about winter feed supplies and are making tough decisions about how best to deal with reduced hay yields.  Rains during July in some areas of the province have eased the pressure on pastures but for the most part were too late for hay stands.  This edition of the Forage and Livestock eNews contains information on a forage market price report, news on expansion of the irrigation district around Outlook, a project to raise awareness of native prairie sites in Saskatchewan and reaction from the federal government regarding drought conditions in the province.            
As always, feel free to share this publication with anyone you think may be interested, or encourage them to join our mailing list. 
Please contact us if you have comments or questions about our e-newsletter.  Also, let us know if you have ideas for upcoming issues.  We welcome your input!
Forage Market Price Survey Now Available Online 
The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) conducts twice yearly surveys (January and July)of the provincial forage market.  The July survey is now available on the SFC website at
This document contains price information on both standing and baled forage as of July 15, 2009 based on information gathered from various sources including feed and forage listings, classified ads, personal contacts, feedlots and auction marts. 
Besides containing forage pricing information, the report details regional forage growing conditions, pest reports, transportation costs and forage seed prices. 
There is not a central marketing agency for forages, and due to the fact that most sales are person to person, pricing information on this commodity is difficult to find.  This market report provides a valuable source of pricing information for both buyers and sellers. 
The prices reported for standing forage in the market report accurately reflect 2009 crop prices.  The baled forage prices reported are largely for 2008 crop as there is little 2009 crop on offer at this time.  The July survey of baled forage prices reflects sales in the January - July 2009 period. 

Hay Windrows

For more information on this survey, please contact the SFC at, or call (306) 966-2148. 
Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Districts Infill Opportunities
Submitted by: Sarah Sommerfeld, Irrigation Agrologist
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Irrigation Branch
The potential for increased forage production in the Lake Diefenbaker area has been enhanced by a recent federal and provincial government funding announcement. 
Irrigation districts around Lake Diefenbaker are 50,000 acres short of maximum capacity according to the infill studies recently completed by the South Saskatchewan River, Luck Lake and Riverhurst Irrigation Districts. 
On June 25,2009, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, federal Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Bob Bjornerud, Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture, announced joint federal-provincial funding to help expand and strengthen economic opportunities based on those three irrigation district infill studies. 
These projects will expand capacity by 15,000 acres, creating 20 to 22 short-term jobs and 60 long-term jobs, while sustaining 223 jobs across three districts.
The federal government is providing funding of $4.7 million under the Community Adjustment Fund and the Government of Saskatchewan is contributing $530,000 for a total of $5.3 million over two years.
Through the Community Adjustment Fund, irrigation districts will supply off-farm infrastructure for 15,000 infill acres.  Farmers will invest in irrigation on their own land as they are financially able.  Development of 15,000 acres of irrigation with 90 centre pivots can be realized with an on-farm financial investment of approximately $100,000 per system, for a total of $9 million.
In 2008, about 8,000 acres representing 14 per cent of the irrigated acres of the three irrigation districts grew forage crops. 
Irrigation development on an additional 15,000 acres could increase forage production by another 2,100 acres, building a more stable and reliable feed supply for livestock producers in the Lake Diefenbaker and west central areas of Saskatchewan.
For more information, contact Sarah Sommerfeld, Irrigation Agrologist, Irrigation Branch, Saskatchewan Agriculture, Outlook, at (306) 867-5521.

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Saskatchewan Prairie Places
Submitted by Chet Neufeld, Executive Director
Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan (NPSS)
Saskatchewan is rich in natural history, and although it has been greatly diminished from its original state, there are still hundreds of representative areas left across the province.  Some of these areas have made their mark in the tourism industry and are drawing in people from across the province and around the world, but most are still unknown even to people that live nearby.  The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan (NPSS) hopes to change this and, in doing so, educate the public on the diversity and importance of native prairie and inject much needed dollars into rural economies.
To do this, the NPSS is undertaking a very ambitious project and needs your help!  We're compiling a list of publicly-accessible native prairie areas in Saskatchewan that people can visit and publishing it all in a guide called "Saskatchewan's Prairie Places".  If you know of any native prairie that the public would be able to visit (including private land, with owner's permission) please send us the information (name, nearest town, driving directions, other important info).  Tell us as much as you can about these prairie areas, such as if camping is allowed and if there are designated camp sites, or if there are any trails or points of interest to enhance the experience.  Other information that we're looking for are GPS coordinates for native prairie places, plant species/communities that occupy them and photos and map images of them. 
Share your favourite prairie places with others so that they can enjoy them too!  Everyone who contributes will be credited in the guide.
Prairie LillyPlease send all information to or call (306) 668-3940.  We'll take as much or as little information as you have. 
Thanks for your help!


Drought Reaction from Federal Government
In a press release issued July 22, 2009, the Federal Government announced that there will be tax relief for producers who are forced to downsize their herds due to drought in some areas of Saskatchewan this year.  Similar announcements were issued in both Alberta and Manitoba.  Many producers, especially in the western region of Saskatchewan are dealing with very dry conditions which has resulted in stunted hay crops and poor pasture growth.  This has left many with no other option than selling livestock to ensure that feed supplies  will be adequate.   
In the announcement, Minister Ritz detailed that producers who reduce their breeding herds by at least 15 per cent are eligible. Thirty per cent of income from net sales can be deferred if the herd has been reduced by at least 15 per cent, but less than 30 per cent. Where the herd has been reduced by 30 per cent or more, 90 per cent of income from net sales can be deferred.
Currently there is a list of approximately 75 RM's which have been designated as eligible for this deferral.  However, as the growing season continues, this list may be expanded to include other areas that meet the criteria.
For a list of currently designated RM's, or for more information on this announcement, please visit the AAFC's Newsroom on the web at

Summer pasture


Leanne Thompson - Editor
Forage and Livestock eNews
Forage and Livestock eNews is published by the Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC).  Opinions
and information are provided by the authors and publication does not imply endorsement by the SFC.
The Saskatchewan Forage Council recognizes the support of our Annual Sponsors: 

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Financial support for this project has been provided by:
the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan through the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food
Saskatchewan (ACAAFS) program.  Funding for the ACAAFS program is provided by Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada

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