The real value of a local crop walk

There have definitely been some real challenges this growing season across many parts of the Prairies. Although some areas have received adequate moisture, the majority of acres have been under a drier bias when it comes to weather conditions.

With this variability comes decision making, but you have to make sure you are getting out into your own fields regularly. But what about someone else’s field?

On Wednesday, Alberta Canola director and Canola Council of Canada board member Kevin Serfas hosted a crop walk for about 65 farmers, retailers, and agronomists to hear the latest on canola disease and pest issues.

The crop walk was held north of Turin, AB, in one of Serfas’s own canola fields so that attendees could get a closer look and some of the major issues first-hand.

I asked Serfas what prompted him to host a crop walk like the one held in Turin. He says it’s “to get out in the country side, and show off the council agronomists. I think farmers appreciate hearing from their organization and that they’re included in how those check-off dollars are spent.”

Personally, the value I find in some of the smaller crop walks, like the one hosted by Serfas, is that they are very intimate. Being able to visit with the presenters and also the other attendees really enhance the learning experience. The instructor-to-student ratio is just about perfect.

Don’t Miss: A variable crop needs field-specific decisions

All of this learning, though, does not change the weather or lower the level of adversity that Serfas and others in the Palliser’s Triangle are fighting this year.

In terms of the dry conditions, Serfas says, “It’s a terrible phrase, but t is what it is.” Instead, he’s focusing on the things he can control — like crop protection and nutrition.

Hear Shaun Haney and Kevin Serfas discuss the crop walk and dealing with the dry conditions in Southern Alberta.  

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