Better Together

Representing Alberta Wheat & Barley Farmers.
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Applied Research Association (ARA) resources for farmers

There are numerous Applied Research Associations (ARAs) that provide learning opportunities for producers in their regions. We reached out to those that conduct work related to wheat and barley and collected information related to this seasons research plans, field days, and online learning opportunities.

Northern Alberta

Mackenzie Applied Research Association (Fort Vermillion, Alberta)

"MARA helps foster the development of farmers’ needs (based on the 2019 local needs assessments), indigenous and innovative knowledge and local networks. We provide practical experiences to selected farmers so they can develop new technological options and transfer their knowledge with other producers during workshops. We also use cost effective, locally produced research and extension inputs and materials and let farmers and their organizations circulate them, which ensures that farmers are self-reliant and inputs are appropriate. MARA experiments locally with a variety of options derived both from farmers (indigenous knowledge or other farmer experiences) and from science. We suggest optional practices for farmers to decide on and test in their own fields, and encourage farmers also to suggest practices to test. Lastly, we encourage demonstrations by a farmer or farmer group on their farm(s). Theses demonstrations can be replicated by other farmers."

  • Twitter Handle: @Farmnorthof58
  • 2021 Planned Events: MARA’s AGM – March 18, Clubroot updates & crop diseases-March 25, Mental health workshop, Soil health & Regenerative farming, Farm tour- June 24.

North Peace Applied Research Association (Manning, Alberta) 

“The North Peace Applied Research Association is planning to go ahead with a full suite of research and extension for the North Peace. Thirty-nine research trials (2136 plots) are currently scheduled, and include variety trials (spring wheat, feed barley, malt barley, yellow peas, green peas, faba beans, sainfoin, intermediate wheatgrass, and creeping alfalfa). Other research themes include: 1) alternative cropping systems and soil health, 2) improving nutrient use efficiency in field crops, 3) investigating cultural methods for flea beetle control, and 4) intercropping. Extension events include three field tours, a 3-day Soil Health Academy Field School, and soil health workshops.”

  • Twitter Handle: @LanceNpara
  • 2021 Planned Events: Summer solstice tour (June), July field tour, Morning Coffee tour (August), Peace Country Soil Health Academy Field School (July), Soil Health Workshop with Dr.Kris Nichols and Kim Cornish (July), Regenerative agriculture workshop with Dr. Caroline Halde (August), No-Till Gardening webinars with Jay Fuhrer (May)

Peace Country Beef and Forage Association (Fairview, Alberta)

“Peace Country Beef and Forage Association (PCBFA) will be working this year on our small plot trials of cocktail cover crops, Intercropping, regional silage variety trials and many other projects. We also have a number of On-farm trials feeling with crop/livestock integration, grazing practices, Corn for forage and pasture rejuvenation. This year we will also be working with a master’s student from the University of Alberta on their perennial ecosystems trial. In addition to research, PCBFA will be hosting a number of plot walks, field days and trials through the summer as well as webinars and classroom events through the winter as permitted.”

  • Twitter Handle: @PCBFA

Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association (Falher, Alberta) 

“SARDA Ag Research’s main base of operation, offices, shop and storage facility is located in Falher, situated in the South Peace Region of Alberta. Test plots are found on sites rented from cooperators within the municipalities of Northern Sunrise County, Big Lakes County, County of Grande Prairie, MD of Smoky River, and the MD of Greenview. SARDA Ag Research has access to many soil types and conditions where trials can be situated. SARDA Ag Research’s six full-time staff have 150+ combined years of experience in agriculture and research. This experience leads to well-designed trials, well-maintained plots with credible reports and statistical analyses. Our main research focus is on small seed crops, niche crops, and forage seed crops. We look at crop rotations, new varieties, fertility management, pest management, crop quality, new products and practices and environmental effects. All research is focused on the sustainability and profitability of agriculture and is directed by producers from throughout the area. In a typical year, SARDA Ag Research does about 70 research trials or about 3,000 small plots.”

  • Twitter Handle: @sarda6

Central Alberta

Battle River Research Group (Forestburg, Alberta) 

“Battle River Research Group (BRRG) conducts relevant regional applied agricultural research, and effectively communicate those results to producers. At the beginning of this year a survey was conducted to identify the regional producer's needs and challenges in East Central Alberta. BRRG is committed to continue our services: one to one consultation, BRRG webinar series, project reports, newsletters, and social media to transfer research-based knowledge in the area. This year BRRG plans to conduct over fifty research and demonstrations projects at six different locations. BRRG field days and crop walks strengthen the ability of producers to access relevant and reliable regional information to take informed decisions for their farming operations.”

  • Twitter Handle: @BRRG_Ag

Lakeland Applied Research Association (Bonnyville, Alberta) 

  • Twitter Handle: @LakelandARA
  • 2021 Planned Events: Smoky Lake Summer Field Day (July 22), Fort Kent Summer Field Day (July 28), St. Paul Summer Field Day (August 5), Lac La Biche Summer Field Day (August 11)

Gateway Research Organization (Westlock, Alberta)

  • Twitter Handle: @GatewayResearch
  • 2021 Planned Events: GRO-Coffee Shop Talk, GROing Together- GRO AGM 2021, “Cut the Crop” GRO Field day, An Evening Social with GRO Board, GRO Pasture walk, GRO Bus Tour - 2021

Southern Alberta 

Chinook Applied Research Association (Oyen, Alberta)

“CARA is driven by farmers and ranchers in east central Alberta to bring innovative and profitable practises to the local agricultural industry. Our program includes a full range of adaptive research trials with annual and perennial crops, agronomic studies, soil health and conservation. Information is shared through a variety of means. A Soil Health Lab was added to CARA’s program in 2018. The lab offers analysis of a number of physical and biological soil parameters as well as training opportunities for youth, farmers and others. In addition to local projects, CARA partners with others on regional and provincial initiatives.”

Farming Smarter (Lethbridge, Alberta) 

“Farming Smarter’s focus is always on providing farmers and agronomists with unbiased information about novel crops, agronomic practices and technology uses. We have several projects related to cover crops, fusarium control through crop rotation, in-season soil moisture mapping and a new fungi trap called the “spornado”. We will continue learning about precision planters and their usefulness for various crops and whether they can offer yield gains. Our newest project beginning this year will study a combined use of strip tillers with precision planters. The project interest is whether it offers a way to manage crop residues, provide better seed germination and some early season protection for seedlings.”

  • Twitter: @FarmingSmarter