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Updates and information from across the industry 
March 13, 2009 - Vol 1, Issue 5
Articles In This Issue
Managing Saskatchewan Rangeland
Spotlight on Our Sponsors: Sask Crop Insurance
Research Focus: Tame and Native Species Performance
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Dear Leanne

Winter feeding cowsEven though it seemed a long way off earlier this week, spring officially arrives in just a short 7 days!  While winter weather lingers on in March, plans for the upcoming growing season are starting to take shape.  In this issue you will find information about a resource publication available online, information about Saskatchewan Crop Insurance forage programs and deadlines as well as a research project looking at the long-term suitability of native plant species and mixtures in the Saskatchewan environment.      
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!
Managing Saskatchewan Rangeland: An Essential Tool for Rangeland Managers 

The Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) was pleased to publish an updated version of Managing Saskatchewan Rangeland in 2008.  Originally published in 1990, the updated version of this publication is an essential resource tool for any rangeland manager.  The focus of this publication is to contribute to the sustainability of the province's rangeland resources through education of its users.  Topics covered include: plant ecology and growth, biodiversity, Saskatchewan's natural vegetation zones, grazing management and monitoring as well as livestock behaviour, fencing techniques and water development on pastures.
A complete copy can be downloaded from the Saskatchewan Forage Council's website at http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102500508219&e=001oKycIkV7M4SBvrIHE7DH06l0A0KJnAINSEAAfMISzJNNRWW6qW7c4w-tFmg-yEWOVCJnm-nm_qJ-IFq1Exn4crDlYJlI-y35qIwBuSCERdK2yA4Z2gWRjw== under the "Resources" section, or a hard copy can be requested by contacting the SFC office at office@saskforage.ca.
Co editors for this publication were Janice Bruynooghe, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Forage Council and Ross Macdonald, a Range Management Professional.  "This publication is a wonderful guide for anyone who is involved with managing native grassland in Saskatchewan", states Bruynooghe.  People are encouraged to download the digital version from the SFC website, but hard copies are available by contacting the SFC office.  Bruynooghe indicates, "We have had a steady demand for print copies, but there are still many available for those who prefer a hard copy.  Many people were familiar with the previous version of Managing Saskatchewan Rangeland and want to update their resource libraries".
Hard copies of Managing Saskatchewan Rangeland are also available through the offices of several Saskatchewan Forage Council partner agencies such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, PFRA and Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.
Funding for this publication was provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Greencover Canada Program. 


MSR book

Spotlight on Our Sponsors: 
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation - Forage Programs and Deadlines
As a frequent feature in the Forage and Livestock eNews, "Spotlight on Our Sponsors" will highlight information provided by a Saskatchewan Forage Council sponsor.  The Saskatchewan Forage Council acknowledges the support of our sponsors, without whom publications such as this e-newsletter, would not be possible!
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation offers a number of options for forage producers to manage their risks related to feed production.
Yield-based coverage is available for a variety of crops used for livestock feed in the province. Customers are guaranteed a minimum yield at the projected market price and are compensated for production losses below their guaranteed coverage. Yield-loss coverage is available for forage crops such as tame hay, greenfeed and sweetclover. Insurance coverage can also be purchased for a variety of feed grains grown in the province.
The Forage Establishment Benefit Option can be selected on newly seeded acres of tame and native perennial forage and greenfeed crops.  Customers are provided compensation on crop acres that do not establish. Coverage levels for alfalfa, alfalfa/grass and grass are increasing in 2009 to $40 per acre, sweetclover is increasing to $30 per acre and native forage remains unchanged at $75 per acre.
The Forage Rainfall Insurance Program provides coverage on native and tame grazing acres based on measured precipitation at one of 130 weather stations in the province. The Corn Heat Unit Program insures against a lack of heat units over the growing season and is available to feed and grain corn producers. Claims in both programs are not tied to individual yields, but are triggered when seasonal precipitation or corn heat units fall below the long-term normal as registered at the selected station.
For further information on the forage insurance programs available, contact your local Customer Service Office, call 1-888-935-0000 or visit http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102500508219&e=001oKycIkV7M4S1kLSpjypWTFuJSs7Q8rck1QZlHC0yMBFBVTgoP08o8xSkmyO4o2s_IM7MUszh8buk1VEZOaqs7vOzK6yT1hSRdAgrZDixipX80i0-OHES0GmR_NC9BxJ0.
The deadline to apply, reinstate, cancel or make changes to 2009 contracts is March 31, 2009.

Sask Crop Insurance logo

Research Focus: Tame and Native Species Performance in Monoculture and Mixture in Southern Saskatchewan
Dr. Mike Schellenberg-AAFC Research Scientist,  Semi-Arid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre (SPARC)
At SPARC, Dr. Mike Schellenberg is involved in several forage and rangeland related research projects, one of which is an assessment of tame and native forage species grown alone or in combination. 
The tame grass species included in this trial are Crested Wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) and Russian Wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea) while the native grass species include Western Wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) and Green Needlegrass (Stipa viridula).  The objective is to look at biomass production of these grass species alone and in combination.  Initially some warm season grasses were included in the project, but did not persist under the environmental conditions so were removed from the trial.  This trail began in 2001 and will conclude in 2009. 
Looking at the initial results, it appears that there is not a significant difference between the forage production of the native and tame species.  This is contrary to popular belief that native species are generally less productive than tame.  Tame grass stands out-yielded native grass stands in the first few years after establishment, but native grass stands caught up during the third year.  Dr Schellenberg suggests "this may be due to tame species being early successional species (normally associated with rapid growth) vs the late successional species for natives". 
Preliminary results also suggest that mixtures may be more productive than monocultures.  

Dr. Schellenberg is also working with soil microbiologists on this trial to identify soil microbial populations for grasses grown alone or in combination.  Initial results show that not only does the soil microbial population fluctuate with season (spring vs. fall), there appears to be an effect from grass species.  Tame and native grasses appear to be supporting different soil microbial communities.  The research team hypothesizes that these differences in soil microbe population may have an effect on forage production capabilities of the stands.
For more information on this project, please contact Dr. Mike Schellenberg at (306) 778-7247 or schellenberg@agr.gc.ca.


Fall Grassland

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: 

     Ducks Unlimited Logo                  Friendly Acres logo           DOW AgroSciences logo

Proven Seed/Viterra logoProven Seed/Viterra logo     SeCan logo    Sask Crop Insurance logo
 BrettYoung logo                   Pioneer logo           Northstar Seed logo        
SWA logo         Encana logo          Pickseed logo
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

AAFC logo        ACS logo                 Canada logo

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