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PROPOSED UPDATE OF THE PROVINCIAL LANDS ACT

The Government of Saskatchewan is seeking input from people across the province to improve and modernize The Provincial Lands Act.

The Act provides the authority to the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment to administer provincial Crown lands.

The Ministries of Agriculture and Environment will be holding consultation meetings throughout the province.  Consultations will help inform changes to the Act.  Crown land clients will receive notification letters of these meetings.

Consultations will address issues such as: improving client service; clarifying language and administration; identifying solutions for land-use conflicts; developing enforcement mechanisms; and strengthening regulatory frameworks.

To read the complete SK Ministry of Agriculture News Release, click here.

June 12, 2013

THE ROUNDUP READY® ALFALFA ASSESSMENT

Monsanto Canada Inc. and Forage Genetics International LLC have jointly developed Roundup Ready® alfalfa for use in the commercial production of forage for livestock feed.  This product has the capacity to withstand the application of Roundup® herbicide, which would enable alfalfa producers to suppress or control weeds.

In 2005, Roundup Ready® alfalfa underwent livestock feed, environmental safety and food assessments conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and HC.

As part of this process, Monsanto Canada Inc. and Forage Genetics International LLC provided extensive data and related scientific literature for review by scientists at the CFIA and HC.  The submitted data included a detailed description of how Roundup Ready® alfalfa was developed and how the tolerance to Roundup® occurred in the plant.  Roundup Ready® alfalfa was field tested in Canada under strictly controlled conditions in Manitoba and Ontario.  These field trials provided essential data required for the safety assessments.  Field trial data confirmed that Roundup Ready® alfalfa behaved no differently than conventional alfalfa.

The CFIA’s environmental safety assessment concluded that Roundup Ready® alfalfa does not pose any safety risks to the environment. The assessment also concluded that Roundup Ready® alfalfa has no detrimental effect on bees, other insects or other plants.  The livestock feed safety assessment determined that Roundup Ready® alfalfa is nutritionally equivalent to conventional alfalfa and similar to commercial varieties grown in North America. Further, the analysis showed that no new toxins or allergens were present.  HC conducted a similar analysis and determined that food from Roundup Ready® alfalfa poses no risk to human health.

In 2013, Gold Medal Seeds Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Forage Genetics International LLC, submitted an application for variety registration to the CFIA. The application was assessed and the variety was registered on April 26, 2013. Variety registration enables Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed to be commercially sold in Canada.

To read the complete CFIA News Release, click here.

June 10, 2013

GOVERNMENTS ANNOUNCE NEW RESEARCH CHAIR TO FOCUS ON FORAGE

Today, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced funding of $1.25 million over five years for the creation of a forage research chair at the University of Saskatchewan.

The forage research chair will focus on forage breeding with an emphasis on developing new forage varieties with improved yields.  A dedicated forage research chair will result in new options for Saskatchewan producers to help improve profitability, competitiveness and sustainability in the long-term.

“The creation of the forage chair is a direct response to industry needs,” said Ritz.  “Strengthening forage research capacity in Saskatchewan supports innovation for long-term profitability and sustainability for producers.”

“We have heard from industry that better forage varieties are needed to assist with the long-term growth of the livestock industry in Saskatchewan,” Stewart said.  “The new forage research chair announced today is a good first step toward the expansion of Saskatchewan’s livestock and forage industries.”

The creation of a forage research chair addresses a recommendation from the Beef, Feed and Forage Review conducted in 2012.  In addition, feedback from industry groups during the Growing Forward 2 consultations, including the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, Saskatchewan Forage Council and Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, highlighted the need for increased investment in forage research.

To read the complete SK Ministry of Agriculture News Release, click here.

June 10, 2013
HARPER GOVERNMENT UNVEILS DETAILS OF FEDERAL GROWING FORWARD 2 PROGRAMS

Edmonton, Alberta, January 31, 2013 - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today the details of the AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness Programs under Canada's new agricultural policy framework Growing Forward 2. These programs complement the AgriInnovation Program which was unveiled in December, 2012.

The AgriMarketing Program, which comes into effect on April 1, 2013, is now accepting applications. The new program – a five-year, $341-million initiative -- is designed to help industry improve its capacity to adopt assurance systems, such as food safety and traceability, to meet consumer and market demands. It will also support industry in maintaining and seizing new markets for their products through branding and promotional activities.

“Our Government knows the importance of innovation and trade to the agriculture industry which is why, we made market development a cornerstone of Growing Forward 2,” said Minister Ritz. “By focusing on proactive and cost-effective investments, Growing Forward 2 will give producers the tools they need to compete in markets in Canada and around the world.”

The new $115-million AgriCompetitiveness Program will make targeted investments to help the sector adapt to rapidly changing and emerging global and domestic opportunities and issues, respond to market trends and enhance business and entrepreneurial capacity. The AgriMarketing and AgriCompetitiveness Programs are in addition to the $698-million AgriInnovation Program which will focus on investments to expand the sector’s capacity to develop and commercialize new products and technologies. The AgriInnovation Program began accepting applications in December, 2012. All three programs come into effect on April 1, 2013.

To read the complete AAFC News Release, click here.

January 31, 2013
GROWING FORWARD 2 (GF2) - CONSULTATIONS

In September 2012, the federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture met in Whitehorse, Yukon and set in place a new five-year agricultural policy framework - Growing Forward 2 (GF2).

GF2 will come into effect on April 1, 2013. Currently the Bilateral Agreement between Saskatchewan and the federal government for GF2 programming is being negotiated.

To date, we have received valuable input from producers and industry organizations, which has shaped our initial approach to GF2 programming. Over the past three years, through a series of both formal and informal consultation sessions, we have gathered a significant amount of feedback about what has worked in the original Growing Forward framework, and what areas could be improved to better serve stakeholders.

This feedback has helped us structure new program areas and initiatives in our negotiations with the federal government, while at the same time, balancing sector needs with the funding available and parameters set for the agreement nationally.

As Saskatchewan enters the final stage of bilateral negotiations with the federal government regarding programming and funding, the Ministry would like to invite stakeholders to submit written comments regarding priorities, initiatives and observations concerning GF2.

Currently, Saskatchewan is considering a range of strategic initiatives organized across eight program areas, which include:
     * Agriculture Research & Innovation
     * Value-Added Business Development
     * Farm Business Management
     * Trade and Market Development
     * Environment
     * Rural Water Infrastructure
     * Food Safety, Plant & Animal Health
     * Agriculture Awareness

To read the complete SK Ministry of Ag Programs and Services Update, click here.

January 30, 2013
GOVERNMENTS INVEST $3.4 MILLION INTO LIVESTOCK RESEARCH

Research Funding to Help Grow the Industry and Benefit Livestock and Forage Producers

Today Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced $3.4 million in funding for 23 livestock and forage research projects. Funding for these projects is provided through the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund (ADF).

"Saskatchewan is a world leader in agricultural research," said Ritz. "The Agriculture Development Fund and work done in the province's research institutions help producers innovate to strengthen our economy here in Saskatchewan and across Canada."

"Research is vital to the future of our industry and ranchers across Saskatchewan will benefit from these projects," Stewart said. "Our government's continued commitment to innovation will help our producers remain competitive and will continue to ensure Saskatchewan produces safe, reliable agriculture products."

Livestock and forage projects receiving funding in 2013 include:
     * New forage barley for beef and dairy producers;
     * Development of oral and needle-free vaccines for calves;
     * Analysis of sheep health in the province;
     * New nutritional feeds for piglets;
     * Improving the energy value in high-protein feed;
     * DNA testing technologies for cattle;
     * Improved production management tools for cow-calf operations;
     * Development of new vaccines for poultry; and
     * Field-testing a vaccine against chronic wasting disease.

To read the complete SK Ministry of Ag News Release, click here.

January 23, 2013


HARPER GOVERNMENT HELPS FORM THE SASKATCHEWAN FORAGE NETWORK

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, January 22, 2013 - With the support of the Harper Government, Saskatchewan forage industry members will work together to develop and implement a strategy to improve the sector's competitiveness and to ensure its long-term prosperity. Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz today announced an investment that will help the Saskatchewan Forage Council (SFC) build partnerships and promote industry-wide dialogue through the formation of the Saskatchewan Forage Network.

"Forages are a core driver of the Saskatchewan economy, and we are pleased to support the sector in developing an efficient and coordinated approach," said Minister Ritz. "The formation of the Network will enable the sector to achieve tangible and practical results through calculated investments in key areas."

The $148,000 investment will allow the SFC to secure a coordinator for the newly formed Saskatchewan Forage Network, and to carry out activities and deliver on the Network's objectives. These objectives include developing a strategy to build forage research capacity, facilitating access to project funds, and achieving coordinated technology transfer and extension activities across the industry.

An industry-led steering committee, which includes members from the SFC, the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, SaskMilk, the Sask Leafcutters Association, the Saskatchewan Forage Seed Development Commission, and the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, will identify new priorities, needs, and gaps as the Network model is developed and implemented.

"This project is coming at a key time for the forage industry, as we are currently facing a serious lack of investment in forage research and program funding, both in Saskatchewan and across Canada. Funding for this project will be used to consult with and bring together stakeholders in a coordinated effort on forage-related issues facing the industry," said Aaron Ivey, President of the SFC and Chair of the Forage Network Steering Committee. "I am happy to report that this network has already seen positive progress."

To read the complete AAFC News Release, click here.

January 22, 2013

FUNDING TO HELP PATRONS ASSUME PASTURE OPERATIONS

Funding to Help Patrons Develop Business Plans and Establish Legal Entities

Today, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced funding to help pasture patron groups prepare to assume operation of federal community pastures.

"Returning these lands back to their provincial owners is a great opportunity for those, with a more direct stake in the use of the land, to take over the pasture management," said Ritz. "Our government is pleased to work with the Province of Saskatchewan and use the flexibility of Growing Forward programming to support this transfer."

"Pasture patrons have been the priority for our government throughout this transition," Stewart said. "This funding will help patron groups with the business costs associated with assuming operation of these pastures and we will continue working hand-in-hand with them throughout this process."

Funding will be available to patron groups for up to 75 per cent of the costs associated with establishing legal entities and the development of business plans, up to a maximum of $80,000. In addition, funding will be available for up to 75 per cent of the costs for patrons to improve their business management skills, up to a maximum of $40,000.

Pasture patron groups are eligible for a maximum benefit of up to $120,000 per group. Funding will be provided under the Saskatchewan Farm Business Development Initiative.

To read the complete SK Ministry of Ag News Release, click here.

November 15, 2012
PROVINCE WORKING WITH PATRONS TO TRANSITION FIRST 10 FEDERAL COMMUNITY PASTURES

Today, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced the first 10 federal community pastures to be transferred to the province and to patron-controlled operation for the 2014 grazing season. Patrons will have the opportunity to own or lease these pastures.

"Patrons have had cattle grazing these pastures for years; they know this land better than anyone else; they are our best environmental stewards; and they will continue to have access to these lands which are important to their businesses," Stewart said. "We will continue to work closely with patrons to ensure a smooth transition as they take the steps necessary to operate these pastures."

The following federal community pastures will transfer to patron operation for the 2014 grazing season:
     * Estevan-Cambria;
     * Excel;
     * Fairview;
     * Ituna-Bon Accord
     * Keywest;
     * Lone Tree;
     * McCraney;
     * Newcombe;
     * Park; and
     * Wolverine.

"For many producers in this area, pastures are important to their operations," Chair of the patron advisory committee for the Ituna-Bon Accord Community Pasture Aaron Ivey said. "I believe producers will welcome the opportunity to take more control of their pastures at a local level. This transition can ensure they have access to the grazing into the future."

In May, an industry advisory committee was formed to provide advice and recommendations on this transition. The following recommended principles will guide the transition of these pastures to patron groups:
     * Pasture patron groups will have the opportunity to own/lease each pasture;
     * Each pasture will be maintained as a complete block;
     * Any sales will be based on market value; and
     * Any sale of native prairie land will be subject to no-break and no-drain conservation easements.

To read the complete SK Ministry of Ag News Release, click here.

October 19, 2012
PROVINCE CONSULTING WITH FEDERAL PASTURE PATRONS

Patrons Will Help Determine Pasture Transition Process

The Government of Saskatchewan will be further consulting with federal pasture patrons on the transition of federal community pastures to patron-controlled ownership and operation.

"We have said all along that the patrons of these pastures are the priority for our government throughout this transition," Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said. "Our goal is to ensure patrons are able to continue using these lands and we want to give them every opportunity to have input about the transition of their pastures."

While these consultations continue, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are working to ensure patrons are able to utilize these pastures for grazing in 2013. Both governments are negotiating a memorandum of understanding that will see federal staff continue to manage these pastures for the 2013 grazing season.

Following the federal government's decision to discontinue the Community Pasture Program, Saskatchewan established an advisory committee made up of industry leaders and cattle producers. The advisory committee recommended the following principles form the framework for this transition:
     * Pasture patron groups will have the opportunity to own and operate each pasture;
     * Each pasture will be maintained as a complete block;
     * Sales will be based on market values; and
     * Any sale of native prairie land will be subject to no-break and no-drain conservation easements.

To read the complete SK Ministry of Ag News Release, click here.

August 17, 2012


REPORT ASSESSES THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF ROUNDUP READY® ALFALFA ON CANADA'S FORAGE INDUSTRY

The Canadian Forage & Grassland Association (CFGA), through a project partnership with the Saskatchewan Forage Council, is pleased to announce the release of a national, industry-wide market impact study providing an unbiased, fact-based assessment of the potential impact of Roundup Ready® alfalfa (RRA) on Canada’s forage industry. This collaborative project, with input and direction from stakeholders across the industry, will assist the forage industry nation-wide in its efforts to respond to the new and emerging issue of genetically modified crops.

The report provides an overview of Canada’s forage industry, including export statistics, and a synopsis of the technology and current regulatory status of RRA in Canada. The analysis of the topic is far-reaching as it includes a discussion of the basics of alfalfa reproduction and potential for gene flow and seed cross contamination, an overview of strategies implemented by other commodity groups in their efforts to adapt to the introduction of GE technology, and the current status of RRA in the United States. Key to this study was widespread input from stakeholders across Canada’s forage industry, from those concerned about potential impacts on export markets to producers anticipating a new and effective weed control system. Potential economic impacts are quantified.

To read the complete News Release, click here.

June 13, 2012


FORAGE RESEARCH IN CANADA

After 10 years of extremely narrow or negative margins, the outlook for Canada’s cow-calf sector has become brighter. Growing market access to an increasing global demand for beef means that feeders and packers are competing aggressively for the calves and fat cattle produced from Canada’s smaller cow herd. Grain prices are also high, so grazers are competing with the grain sector for land. High feed grain prices encourage longer backgrounding and grazing periods prior to feedlot finishing. All of these factors point to the need for scientifically validated tools to increase forage productivity per acre.

At one time, Canada’s forage research was almost solely funded by government. The beef industry focused on animal health, productivity, beef quality and food safety research, and didn’t notice that retiring government forage researchers were not being replaced. This led to a drastic loss in Canada’s forage production and breeding research expertise. Provincial forage councils recognized this problem, but had no check-off system to raise forage research funds.

Canada’s beef industry eventually realized that more productive forages would require a greater check-off investment in forage research. Between 2001 and 2008, the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) allocated 10 per cent of its research budget towards forage and grasslands research. Since 2009, this allocation has doubled to 20 per cent.

To read the complete BCRC article, click here.

May 29, 2012
NEWLY REGISTERED FORAGE BARLEY VARIETY

Note: This update was provided by Brian Rossnagel, University of Saskatchewan

This is just a quick note on behalf of Aaron Beattie, Bruce Coulman and Brian Rossnagel to advise that they have just registered their newest 2 row forage barley variety named CDC Maverick.

CDC Maverick is essentially a smooth awned version of CDC Cowboy. Like CDC Cowboy, it demonstrates high biomass yield and in Coop testing, out-yielded all checks and other entries by some 10+% in terms of forage dry matter. Forage quality is similar to CDC Cowboy with the exception of course that CDC Maverick has smooth awns, while CDC Cowboy has rough awns.

Pedigreed seed increase and marketing will be handled by SeCan. CDC Maverick was tested in the Western Forage Barley Coop trials as FB205 and in CDC Trials as SB060176.

Side Note from Brian Rossnagel: For those who wonder about the derivation of variety names – CDC Maverick was one smooth cowboy...................................

February 15, 2012



 
 
 
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