Star­land Ag tour sells out

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Patrick Ko­lafa

The pop­u­lar Star­land County Agri­cul­tural Ser­vice Board tour is a sell out this sea­son.

The tour, which ex­plores all kinds of as­pects con­cern­ing agri­cul­ture in the county, is set to go this Thurs­day, July 28. Agri­cul­tural Field­man Al Hamp­ton says they have some ex­cit­ing ad­di­tions to the tour this year in­clud­ing the Red Deer River Wa­ter­shed Al­liance (RDRWA).

“They (the RDRWA) can check out all the in­no­va­tions that the farm­ers are do­ing,” said Hamp­ton. “I think it is good to get them to the ru­ral ar­eas and show them what is ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing at the farm level. It gives them a lit­tle bet­ter per­spec­tive so when they are mak­ing de­ci­sions hav­ing to do with live­stock care, they ac­tu­ally know what is go­ing on.”

Some of this will fo­cus on ma­nure man­age­ment.

“When you are deal­ing with wa­ter­shed you are pretty con­cerned with phos­phate and ni­trates. Ba­si­cally if you man­age things cor­rectly, you should not have any trou­ble,” he said.

There are many other in­no­va­tions to the in­dus­try that will be fea­tured, ev­ery­thing from off­site so­lar wa­ter­ers for stock to a demon­stra­tion at the Ma­son Farm of a Husq­varna Auto Mower.

There is also some con­ven­tional in­for­ma­tion on crops with their res­i­dent spe­cial­ist Neil What­ley, who will dis­cuss lentil pro­duc­tion in the area, and Kerry Sharp will lead par­tic­i­pants through a canola plot.

Star­land has be­come a leader in farm site so­lar in­stal­la­tions and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Green­light Power will lead dis­cus­sion at a ma­jor so­lar ar­ray. “He will talk about the process you go through to put an in­stal­la­tion in place,” said Hamp­ton.

An­other in­no­va­tive sight to see is a Bio­haven Float­ing Is­land on the Michichi Reser­voir.

“It’s a neat lit­tle idea, that is why we bought into it,” said Hamp­ton. “They are tak­ing re­cy­cled plas­tic and cre­at­ing th­ese is­lands. Ba­si­cally, what you are do­ing is putting them into dams or dugouts. The idea is that you are go­ing to im­prove the wa­ter qual­ity be­cause you have some aquatic plants you are go­ing to be plant­ing and they are go­ing to be root­ing into the wa­ter. It will give some wa­ter fil­tra­tion and cre­ate some habi­tat for fish and ducks and dif­fer­ent things,” ex­plains Hamp­ton.

They have in­stalled one in a small area of the reser­voir, and may ex­pand the pro­gram if they can se­cure grant fund­ing.

Reg­is­tra­tion is noon on Thurs­day at Sam’s Saloon in Rowley.

When you are deal­ing with wa­ter­shed you are pretty con­cerned with phos­phate and ni­trates. Ba­si­cally if you man­age things cor­rectly, you should not have any trou­ble.” Al Hamp­ton Agri­cul­tural Field­man

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