Weather Addressed at WBDC Field Day 2011

The Western Beef Development Centre’s (WBDC) annual Summer Field Day is Tuesday, June 21, 2011. The event’s keynote presentations will be on weather, and weather-related issues.

“Weather has been a concern across the country over the last few years,” says Dr. Paul Jefferson, VP of Operations for the Western Beef Development Centre. “From an excess of moisture to drought, the weather has thrown us for a loop no matter where we live. David Phillips, Environment Canada’s Senior Climatologist won’t be likely to give us solutions, but he will be able to give us an idea of what we may be in for down the line.”

Nobody can give a definitive long-term forecast, but David Phillips, Canada’s “unofficial weather guru,” has been watching the weather closely for a number of years and promotes the understanding of the Canadian climate as spokesperson for the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC). He has also published several books on the weather and is the originator and author of Canada’s most popular calendar, The Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar.

The second keynote speaker in the morning is Michel Tremblay, Provincial Forage Specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, who will be addressing re-seeding of forages, also a weather-related matter. Many species of perennial grasses and legumes can’t tolerate flooding during the summer and Tremblay will address the issue, that being that pastures and hay fields were damaged by standing water in 2010 and need to be re-seeded.

Dr. Bart Lardner, Senior Research Scientist at the Termuende Research Ranch, is once again in charge of the afternoon research tours. Field tours will include Zero-Till Openers for Sod Seeding Alfalfa, Pasture Rejuvenation of Crested Wheat Grass, Short-Rotation Forage Legumes, and the Effect of Above-Average Rainfall on Forage/Pasture Nutrient and Mineral Content, to name just a few.

Also of interest will be PAMI’s Biodigester Study, which is being conducted at the ranch. Dr. Joy Agnew is looking forward to presenting her research progress since the biodigester study got up and running last year, and has funding committed until 2013. Also presenting, and wrapping up the afternoon session will be Kathy Larson, WBDC’s Beef Economist, who will be presenting her 2010 Cost of Production (COP) study results. Larson has also been editing the new ENewsletter for WBDC, and invites input on that.

The WBDC’s Termuende Research Ranch has been hosting a summer Field Day for over a decade, this being its 13th year. The Termuende Trust Fund provides, free of charge, a noon lunch to those participating in the event. There is no charge to attend, and those present can expect an interesting day, with presentations, tours, and a tradeshow onsite as well.