2021 Agricultural Service Board Report
|Bob Barss – Chair||James Schwindt – Agricultural Fieldman|
|Robin Leighton – Deputy Chair||Shelby Oracheski – Asst. Agricultural Fieldman|
|Gillian Adamson – Farm Member||Mel Erickson – Farm Member|
|John Campbell – Farm Member|
LEGISLATIVE GRANT STREAM SECTION
In 2021, the Agricultural Service Board (ASB) received grants from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in the following amounts; $123,907 was for the Provincial ASB Grant – Legislative Stream, $39,000 was for the Provincial ASB Grant – Resource Management Stream and $24,000 was for the Rat Control Grant. The Municipal District of Wainwright (M.D.) sold approximately 415 cases of 2% liquid strychnine concentrate (LSC) in 2021. The M.D sold all the product it was able to acquire and due to the PMRA decision to de-regulate 2% Liquid Strychnine the product is no longer registered or available to producers. The M.D. of Wainwright continues to operate 3 municipal water tankloader facilities for agriculture, shelterbelt and other approved uses. Approximate usage levels for the tankloader’s in 2021 were as follows: Ribstone 31,240 gallons, Giltedge 628,760 gallons and Irma 1,024,456 gallons.
VEGETATION MANAGEMENT, CROP PEST MONITORING AND VERTEBRATE PEST CONTROL
The year 2021 was the final year in the three-year rotation of our roadside spray program. We continue to address weeds such as Toadflax, Scentless Chamomile, Leafy Spurge, Tansy, Tall Buttercup, White Cockle, Baby’s Breath and Canada Thistle found within our boundaries. Prohibited noxious weeds Nodding Thistle, Diffuse Knapweed and Hoary Alyssum continue to be monitored and controlled where found. The Enstrom Pond Purple Loosestrife Infestation (prohibited noxious) continues to be controlled with the use of a Special Use Approval through Alberta Environment and Parks Pesticide Regulatory Department. The remaining 4-years of this approval allows us to use more control options to successfully eradicate the infestation before it spreads any further. A second Purple Loosestrife infestation was found in Division 1 and this site was sprayed in cooperation with the landowner and this site will continue to be monitored until it is eradicated. The ASB continues to partner with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in their pest surveillance program. Diamondback Moths, Bertha Armyworms, grasshoppers and wheat midge were all surveyed for in 2021. The ASB completed 82 random clubroot inspections. Clubroot was confirmed via soil and tissue analysis in 1 randomly selected field in 2021. In 2021, there were no confirmed rat infestations and staff removed 36 problem beaver that were affecting municipal infrastructure locations.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT STREAM SECTION
MUNICIPAL PROJECTS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND EXTENSION ACTIVITIES
The focus of the grant money is to provide information and programs within three priority areas; first is to deliver, promote and manage the Environmental Farm plan; second is to deliver, promote and manage the Canadian Agriculture Partnership; thirdly, to promote the sustainability of water, soil, air and biodiversity in the M.D. of Wainwright. The ASB newsletter called “The Municipal Agriculture Connection” continues to be a source of information for our rural rate payers. The ASB hosted a spring webinar series as well as a virtual succession planning session.