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Alberta Crop Diagnostic Days to be Featured at AgSmart Next Month

An exciting new event is set to further enhance the experience offered at the annual AgSmart event taking place in Olds next month.

The Alberta Crop Diagnostic Day will take place July 31 at the AgSmart event, when Alberta Grains, Alberta Pulse, and Alberta Canola partner with Olds College to bring this co-branded, industry-recognized agricultural diagnostic day under a single banner.

The partnership will showcase the latest agronomic information for producers and agronomists to ensure the newest research being conducted in the Prairies gets to those who need it.

All the partners involved are working to ensure the event will facilitate knowledge exchange among experts from post secondaries, provincial commissions, researchers, farmers, agronomists, students, and stakeholders to share cropping systems research knowledge and crop-specific management practices in Alberta, says Jeremy Boychyn, director of research agronomy & extension at Alberta Grains.

The event has been in the planning stages for awhile now, Boychyn says, and AgSmart offers the perfect venue for it.

“About eight to nine months ago, we started discussing the idea of creating a flagship Alberta crop diagnostics day. Our goal was to bring various groups together and create a collaborative approach within the Alberta agriculture industry,” he says.

“It will provide attendees with hands-on learning opportunities about agronomic practices. The aim is to offer practical insights that farmers can apply to their own operations, ultimately helping them make better decisions for crop management.”

Taking place throughout Day 2 of AgSmart, sessions include:

  • Getting a grip on fusarium head blight timing
  • Lupin production and herbicide selection
  • Integrated weed management in canola
  • The virtues of triticale cultivation
  • Optical spot spraying demo and discussion

Other highlights will include the Olds College Smart Farm Tour, numerous exhibits, networking and an Olds College Brewery tasting.

Shabeg Briar, research scientist in crops at Olds College, will discuss biological pest control. Mazen Aljarrah, triticale breeder at Western Crop Innovations (WCI) in Lacombe, will cover variety development of triticale and its impact on crop rotation, while WCI barley breeder Yadeta Kabeta will be presenting as well.

AgSmart celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2024, and according to Olds College VP of Research Joy Agnew, the Crop Diagnostics Day event is a part of helping the AgSmart show to grow even bigger.

“Events like AgSmart, and now the Crop Diagnostic Day as part of AgSmart, are fantastic because they bring together all these critical stakeholders — from farmers to agronomists to scientists and technical experts. These events provide a platform to discuss the potential value propositions for farmers and their operations,” Agnew says.

“It’s essential to have good, unbiased information coming from scientists, developers, and early adopters who have been working with these technologies and new varieties. This allows farmers to understand the potential return on investment they get from these technologies and techniques.”

She adds that Olds College has a tremendous staff and partners that do all of the behind the scenes work and event planning to make AgSmart truly something special. It will feature an even stronger seed industry presence this year.

“As part of our overall plot showcase for AgSmart, several seed companies are involved who have their own plots for viewing as part of the AgSmart show and will be available for discussion and further commentary during the Crop Diagnostics Day,” Agnew adds.

“We also have dedicated plots specifically for the Crop Diagnostic Day and the individual speakers. For example, we have three pulse plots for the pulse-focused talk, and some canola plots that have been seeded or sprayed at different timings for the canola-related discussions. We will also have cereals seeded at two different dates to show different stages. So, while we have dedicated plots for the Crop Diagnostic Day, there are also over 100 additional plots available for the rest of AgSmart.”

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