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|
In 2022, the Agricultural Services Department received grants from Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation in the following amounts; $123,907 for the Provincial ASB Grant – Legislative Stream, $39,000 for the Provincial ASB Grant – Resource Management Stream and $24,000 for the Rat Control Grant. The 2% liquid strychnine concentrate (LSC) is no longer available to producers. This was the second last year of municipal involvement in the Empty Pesticide Container (<23L) Collection Program, as it will become the responsibility of agricultural retailers as of January 2024. The M.D. of Wainwright continues to operate three municipal water tankloader facilities for agriculture, shelterbelt and other approved uses. Approximate usage for the tankloaders in 2022 was as follows: Ribstone – 33,000 gallons, Giltedge – 737,880 gallons and Irma – 868,857 gallons.
VEGETATION MANAGEMENT, CROP PEST MONITORING & VERTEBRATE PEST CONTROL
In 2022, we began our first of a three-year rotation for our roadside spraying program. We were unable to find a suitably qualified seasonal pesticide applicator to run our third spray truck, but we were able to re-organize our Vegetation Control Program and complete the scheduled work with our two existing qualified pesticide applicators putting in extra hours. This was a challenging year for weed growth and we continue to address a variety of prohibited noxious and noxious weeds found within our municipal boundaries. Purple loosestrife control efforts continue under the provisions of a Special Use Approval. Prohibited noxious weeds including nodding thistle, diffuse and spotted knapweed, and hoary alyssum continue to be monitored vigilantly and controlled where found. The ASB continues to partner with Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation in their pest surveillance program. Diamondback moths, bertha armyworms, grasshoppers and wheat midge were all surveyed in 2022. Agricultural Services Staff also completed 83 random clubroot inspections with no new clubroot positive fields being identified in 2022. In 2022, there was one confirmed rat infestation that was identified, baited, monitored and deemed eradicated. Staff also removed 38 problem beaver that were affecting municipal road, bridge and culvert infrastructure.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT STREAM
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 bi-monthly ASB newsletter and the Municipal Connection continue to be a source of information for our rural rate-payers. The ASB hosted seven extension events between February and May, ranging in topics from grazing management to tree care, which saw a total of 413 participants.