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Lacombe Field Day and the WheatStalk tour took producers into the field

Ana Valdospinos, Communications Intern | Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions

Dr. Flavio Capettini, head of research at the Field Crop Development Centre leads a discussion on malting varieties at Lacombe Field Day.

After another challenging year with the pandemic, the commissions were pleased to get back into the fields and host safe, in-person grower extension events for farmers. We kicked off the summer season with two longstanding agronomy events: Lacombe Field Day and our wheat-centric field day tour, WheatStalk. While following Alberta Health Services protocols, these events offered a safe walk through various wheat and barley trial plots. If you didn’t get a chance to attend our events, here’s what you missed!

This year’s edition of WheatStalk brought agronomic solutions to farmers with a multi-stop event tour. The 2021 WheatStalk tour included wheat variety trial demonstrations, in collaboration with our applied research associations partners: Chinook Applied Research Association (CARA), SARDA Ag Research, Battle River Research Group (BRRG) and Gateway Research Organization (GRO). With the collaboration of these partners, the Alberta Wheat Commission organized four agronomy and extension events across Alberta, in the towns of Westlock, Oyen, Falher and Forestburg. Over these stops, approximately two hundred attendees gathered and accessed wheat agronomic solutions tailored to their region.

The tour featured industry specialists including the commissions’ agronomy team Jeremy Boychyn and Dr. Sheri Strydhorst, Mike Harding from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Trent Whiting from SeCan amongst many others. The featured speakers discussed topics such as plant growth regulators (PGRs), Fusarium head blight management and wheat midge.

As many regions in Alberta experienced a challenging year with excessively hot and dry conditions, the events also included timely discussions related to the current drought conditions. At the WheatStalk stop at SARDA in Falher, Alberta, researchers led a discussion on water and crisis management during the dry season.

On the barley side, this year’s Lacombe Field Day took place at the Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) now under the management of Olds College. Over two hundred attendees participated in the walk through of barley and triticale trial plots. The event also featured demonstrations and presentations with industry experts and FCDC researchers. Commission agronomy specialists Jeremy Boychyn and Sheri Strydhorst discussed ongoing and relevant information on host resistance and virulence of the scald, stripe rust and net form pathogens. Other demonstrations included feed and forage barley varieties, triticale and selecting malting barley varieties with special quality profiles. Lacombe Field Day was a successful event organized by Olds College, providing producers and industry a great opportunity to connect on all things barley.

Both Lacombe Field Day and the WheatStalk tour made for another great summer of agronomy learning in the field and showcased the ongoing work of commission investments into wheat and barley research. To keep up to date with agronomy and extension events, visit our website albertawheatbarley.com, or follow the commissions on Twitter at @AlbertaBarley @AlbertaWheat.