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Ag station hosts open house

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District farmers once again were on hand last Wednesday evening to check out the Emo Agricultural Research Station.

The annual open house took place at 7 p.m. and although the weather was a little rainy, it didn’t stop those on hand from getting a glimpse at this year’s hot crops.

Station manager Kim Jo Bliss hosted the event along with Eric Busch, crop division sales co-ordinator from Alltech Crop Science.

Crops discussed included soybeans, wheat, barley, oats, and canola.

“We are looking mainly at yields for these crops,” Bliss explained.

“But within the barley, we have malting barley used for making beer.”

Bliss added the partnership with Alltech has allowed her to look at certain products that aim to keep crops healthier.

Compared to last year, Bliss said it’s been easier to monitor the crops.

“Last year when we looked at our data, we had such a bad hail storm in June and the damage showed all the way through to the rest of the year,” she noted.

“We’re fortunate enough that we haven’t seen that yet—and hopefully we don’t,” Bliss added.

“But yeah, it’s a decent year.”

Bliss said it’s hard to predict anything about the plot trials this early but did touch on the soybean potential.

“I think within the district, I think that the things that are growing the most are soybeans,” she remarked.

“The guys are seeing that if they are able to successfully grow 45 or 50 acres of soybeans, that’s as big as having an off-farm job.”

Busch, visiting from Winnipeg, offered some perspective on what’s going on in his area.

But he also talked about his own trials here and offered some tips for the future.

“One of the more exciting and newer parts of our work is not only increasing the quantity of a grain but the quality,” Busch said.

“If you’re ever looking into technologies in the future, you can never just look at one thing,” he stressed.

“You have to look at quality and the quantity.

“We have a lot of customers in Manitoba who run very big barns, have lots of hogs, but they also have hundreds of acres of grains and they feed their grain to their livestock in a major way.”

Busch also talked about two of his company’s fungicides, “Soil Set” and “Grain Set,” which use old research but apply in a new way using fermentation technology.

Purity Seeds owner Larry Lamb said he wasn’t surprised by any of the information at the open house but added the crops were flourishing this year.

“I noticed that all the crops in the plots looked in good condition,” he noted.

“In some years, they’ve had difficult weather conditions and they haven’t looked as good.

“The plots and the crops are looking the best I’ve seen in a long time,” Lamb enthused.

Afterwards, Bliss said she appreciates those who come out and look at her plots.

But she stressed it’s important to have a community event where information is transferred between fellow farmers.

“I like them to see what we’re doing, but everybody’s so busy farming that they don’t have time to find out what’s going on at your next-door neighbours,” she reasoned.

“It’s good they talk to each other so I think everyone had a good night and my feedback has been positive,” Bliss said.

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