Quick Links

Integrated Pest Management for Pastures

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   May 25, 2012 12:58

Nadia Mori, MSc, PAg, Regional Forage Specialist
Watrous Regional Services Office
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a well established practice in crop protection and can be a valuable approach in forage stand management. IPM means to have a well rounded weed and pest control plan which considers at all options from prevention to control methods available. The following components should be part of an IPM approach:
1.    Monitor Weeds
Monitoring is the process of regularly inspecting pastures to determine if any undesirable plants are present. Scouting also identifies conditions which could favour the development of a weed infestation. For example a recently flooded area on a slightly saline soil may start to convert to foxtail barley.
2.    Pest Identification and Biology
Correct pest identification is necessary in order to select appropriate and effective control measures. Consult with an agrologist or biologist if you are unsure about the identification of a weed or insect found in your pasture. Some basic understanding of the biology of the pest is also critical to effective control and prevention. For example, since annual weeds reproduce by seeds, control measures will be more effective if done before seeds are produced.
3.    Weed Control
Weed control measures must be evaluated in order to select the most appropriate control measures and combine control methods effectively. Herbicide application is one form of control but other alternatives like providing rest during the growing season, mowing, targeted grazing, burning, biological controls and even hand rouging should all be considered. Each control method will have associated costs and make some solutions more economical. For example, cost of weed control procedure, cost of lost production, and cost of damage to non-target plants are some costs to be considered.
4.    Evaluate Weed Control
Control measures must be evaluated to verify the degree of effectiveness. If adequate control has not been achieved, the reasons for the lack of effectiveness should be identified and corrected. Effects on non-target plants and impacts away from the target area must also be identified.
5.    Recordkeeping and Program Management
A complete and accurate set of records is basic to any pest control program. Records will assist in identifying key information such as: which pests have been a problem; where the infestations occurred; how successful different control options proofed to be; what the actual cost of the chosen control option was; during which conditions control options worked or not; which conditions allow certain pests to become a problem (for example, site disturbance, drought conditions, or overgrazing).
For more information, please contact:
    Watrous Regional Services Office (306-946-3220),
    Agriculture Knowledge Centre (1-866-457-2377) or
    Visit our website at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca.

Tags: , ,


EcoFriendly Action Grants

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 23, 2012 12:25

EcoFriendly Sask is offering monthly grants of up to $500 to support local projects that will benefit the environment. We're interested in concrete, tangible actions from across the spectrum: from habitat restoration and recycling to planet-friendly urban design, gardening, wildlife and energy conservation. Additional information is available online at http://www.ecofriendlysask.ca/2012/04/ecofriendly-action-grants.html. Email questions or proposals to ecofriendlysask@gmail.com

Tags: , ,

energy | Feed | General | green | horse

Salt Cedar- Have You Seen This Shrub?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   April 13, 2012 13:48

The Frenchman- Wood River Weed Management Area (WMA) and the Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards (SCCWS) have recently completed a factsheet on the identification of Salt Cedar - an up and coming invasive species that has been found in Saskatchewan. Salt Cedar (tamarix spp.) has the ability to use 80- 120 gallons of water per day per plant and render the soil below the plant saline.


Tara Davidson, Ponteix area cattle producer and AESB/PFRA Range Specialist notes, “the information provided in this factsheet is easy to read and well laid out.  Producers and land managers on the ground will be able to identify out-of-place plants as Salt Cedar. Invasives are a real threat to the industry.”


This factsheet is the final phase of the project.  Salt Cedar had been recently found in South West Saskatchewan, so extensive searching for other infestations in gravel pits and local creeks occurred this fall.  Thankfully, no new Salt Cedar infestations were found.  Government and Industry partners came together in February to discuss Early Detection and Rapid Response Planning for Salt Cedar.  A large group of producers and land managers attended an informational meeting on Salt Cedar in Cadillac February 15th where a fellow cattle producer from northern Montana spoke about the risk Salt Cedar poses.


Montana ranchers Sylvan Walden and Ron Stoneberg brought a strong message. “You don’t want Salt Cedar. It can grow so thick that you can’t see cattle on the other side of the patch.  It uses a lot of water and impacts the grass and riparian areas.”


Print copies of the Salt Cedar factsheet are available by contacting the WMA or SCCWS or for download at www.sccws.com. Producers in the WMA and the SCCWS area will receive a copy in the mail shortly.


Funding for this project has been provided by the Government of Canada’s Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program delivered through Environment Canada. The Frenchman – Wood River Weed Management Area and the Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards have worked collaboratively on this project.




For more information, contact:

Julie Mackenzie P.Ag

Administrator Frenchman-Wood River Weed Management Area

Ph: 306-264-3884


Shannon Garchinski A.Ag

AEGP/ Invasive Articling Agrologist Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards

Ph: 306-778-5027

Tags: , ,


Common Grazing Management Mistakes

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 23, 2012 10:35

Nadia Mori, MSc, PAg, Regional Forage Specialist
Watrous Regional Services Office
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Managing pastures for maximum productivity sounds easy in theory but once weather fluctuations, insect or wildlife damage, and other unforeseen circumstances enter the equation, pasture management quickly turns into a complex balancing act. Grazing management mistakes are bound to happen when dealing with the complexity of a pasture ecosystem. Learning from these mistakes is a good preparation for future unforeseen circumstances and better risk management in your grazing system.

1.    Looking only to the past to determine stocking rates.
Using the same stocking rates year after year often results in pasture degradation. What may have worked in the past may not be appropriate in the present. Most grazing animals have increased in frame size, thereby increasing forage demand for a single animal. Each year will also present a different moisture situation and therefore different amounts of available forage. Properly balancing your forage supply and animal demand based on weather patterns and herd requirements is recommended.
2.    Thinking that more animals grazed means higher profits.
As stocking rates go above what a pasture can carry sustainably, animal performance and animal health will start to decline. As forage supply becomes inadequate, animals are also more likely to graze harmful and toxic plants. In addition to compromised animal performance, the grazing pressure on your desirable forage plants can lead to reduced pasture health. Long periods of rest may be necessary to restore pasture productivity. Reduced pasture productivity can be costly if additional feed needs to be purchased to meet animal nutritional requirements. All these factors reduce your profit.
3.    Thinking that leaving forage behind is a waste of feed.
Drought is always a matter of when, not if it occurs in Saskatchewan. Keeping stocking rates conservative is the best drought insurance policy. Well rested, vigorous forage plants with a well developed root system will stand a much better chance of survival than an overgrazed, stressed plant with a compromised root system. Forage not used in above-average rainfall years can provide carry-over feed for periods of moisture shortfalls. Left-over forage material also turns into litter which helps protect the soil surface from soil erosion and keeps soils cooler and moister during the heat of the summer.
4.    Following the same pasture rotation year after year.
Grazing during rapid spring growth can be stressful to forage plants. Using the same pasture for spring turnout or during rapid spring growth, is taxing on forage plants. Desired plants are often selectively and repeatedly grazed during this rapid growth stage, which may give weedy or undesirable plants an opportunity to take over. Deferring grazing during critical plant growth periods, using pastures at different seasons of the year, and rotating through pastures in different sequences from year to year will help in maintaining good pasture health.
For more information, please contact:
 Watrous Regional Services Office (306-946-3220);

 Agriculture Knowledge Centre (1-866-457-2377); or
Visit our website at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca.

Tags: , , , ,

Feed | General | green | horse | nutrition

Radionics Course Offering in Saskatoon

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 28, 2012 10:14

This training course will be personally delivered by Ed Kelly, President of KRT and son of founder Pe-ter J. Kelly. Workshop will include a balance of radionic theory, practical application and hands-on activities that will equip participants with the ability to apply radionics to the energetic world that flows through us all.
Ed Kelly is a uniquely qualified instructor, with years of experience building and developing radionic instrumentation, working with senior instructors, and writing about this amazing field, as well as countless hours spent in the company of some of the greatest names in radionics: Dr. T. Galen Hier-onymus, Col. Tom Bearden and many others - not the least of which, his father, Peter J. Kelly.

Fundamentals of Radionics-April 10, 11 and 12, 2012
A course designed to meet the needs of brand new beginners and seasoned veterans alike. Participants should bring samples of the water they drink and fur/hair from an animal they own. Topics covered will include:
History of Radionics
Radionic Instruments: Theory of Operation
The Operator and Focused Intent
Safe Use of Radionic Instruments
Capturing Effective Witnesses
Operation of the Kelly Instrument

Each individual and family/friend enrollee will be provided with following materials and information:
Radionics - Book 2: Applied Radionics Two 300 ml Griffin beakers
Set of 10 KRT radionic worksheets One year: Kelly Research Report
Set of 20 test tubes w/ stand Basic Nutrient Reagent Set
Retake includes completion of courses taught by any authorized dealer of KRT instruments

Individual Enrollment $599.00
Family and Friend Enrollment – Bring a buddy and save $100 each! $499.00
Retake* or with Purchase of a New Instrument $299.00
Instrument Rental (Supplies are limited!) $25.00

Energetic Analysis and Balancing
Water Analysis Worksheet
Animal Analysis Worksheet
Plant and Soil Analysis Worksheet
Use of Reagents: Physical and Electronic
Basic Rate Scanning/Electronic Dowsing

Saskatoon, SK-April 10- 13th, 2012 at the Cosmo Civic Centre

Advanced Topics in Radionics –April 13, 2012
A one-day course designed to explore advanced dimensions of knowledge. Participants must have previ-ously completed a Fundamentals course. 2012 topics to be covered will be:
Advanced Rate Scanning for Accuracy Reagent Selection
Electronic Potentizing and The Replicator Radionic Harmonic Matching
Individual Enrollment $149.00

Contact Back to Your Roots Soil Solutions today 306.747.4744
or deb@back-to-your-roots.com to enroll in these course!

Note: The universal concepts of radionics covered in these workshops will equip participants to conduct radionic research in any area desired. However, human health issues cannot be covered at any time. Re-grettably, any questions concerning human health will have to be declined

Analyzer Price List– Please Contact Kelly Research Technology to Order
706-782-2524 or sales@kellyresearchtech.com
The Workstation : Ag Analyzer - 32 Phase Array 40# $4,350.00
The Workstation - 40 Phase Array 40# add $75
The Workstation - 48 Phase Array 40# add $150
The Workstation Pyrex Well Upgrade 40# add $150
Mk II Ag Analyzer: Seporah & BNC Upgrade 32# $650.00
Mk I Ag Analyzer: Seporah & BNC Upgrade 32# $300.00
The Beacon Agricultural Analyzer - 32 Phase Array 32# $3,200.00
The Beacon - 40 Phase Array 32# add $75
The Beacon - 48 Phase Array 32# add $150
The Seeker Agricultural Analyzer - 32 Phase Array 32# $2,500.00
The Seeker - 40 Phase Array 32# add $75
The Seeker - 48 Phase Array 32# add $150
Beacon or Seeker Pyrex Well Upgrade 32# add $75
Kelly Personal Instrument 9# $1,350.00
Kelly Personal Instrument Pyrex Well Upgrade 9# add $50
Personal Analyzer: Seporah & BNC Upgrade 9# $300.00

Welcome to Hop Hill Stable, A New Barn from Old Wood, A Recycling Story

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 19, 2012 10:20


A New Barn from Old Wood, a Recycling Story

Written by Nadine Abrams


In 2010, we showcased Hop Hill Stable, owned and operated by Michael Jewett and his family, for its unique approach to using recycled materials for the construction of a 20 stall barn, adjoining tack room and riding arena.  Through the use of salvaged materials from building demolitions around the province to the re-use of the original homesteads’ masonry stove, Hop Hill Stable is an excellent example of how a horse facility can use sustainable construction techniques to reduce its environmental ‘hoof’ print.


“Having [a] vision first and not arbitrarily collecting junk because it’s cheap” says Jewett, is the first step when wanting to pursue the ‘recycling’ approach.  By having a good plan and a rough design in place prior to sourcing materials, you will save time and money in the long run.


For Mr. Jewett, it all started when his son gave him a book on straw bale construction. The booked sparked his interest and he enrolled in a course to learn more about this sustainable construction technique.  At the end of the course, he had an idea to construct a facility that not only reflected his environmental philosophies but also demonstrated that it could be accomplished through sustainable construction techniques and using recycled and refurbished materials.


In 2000, Mr. Jewett noticed an article in the local paper about a demolition company that was dismantling steel buildings.  Mr. Jewett telephoned the company to inquire about the availability of steel beams and was directed to an “agent” who specialized in buying and selling materials from demolition sites.  Mr. Jewett retained the agent who informed him that the buildings mentioned in the article were already resold but there was another building that may interest him located in Oshawa.


Arriving on-site prepared to bid; Mr. Jewett found himself looking at 3 old General Motors buildings. He promptly bought all 3 buildings and with the assistance of skilled labour, the buildings were disassembled piece by piece, loaded onto 8 semi-trucks and shipped to the farm.  As the farm plans evolved, Mr. Jewett determined that the 24’ high I-beams of the biggest building were perfect for an arena.  After being stored in a field for over 2 years, the beams were refurbished and reassembled on new concrete footings to create the 200’ x 100’ arena.  In hindsight, Mr. Jewett laughs and says “there was this pile of steel in my field, I had no idea which beams went were”.  With the assistance of a contractor who had experience in erecting refurbished buildings, they were able to determine the order of the beams and sort through the materials from the remaining buildings to determine which were suitable for re-use.  The remainder of the building material was re-sold.


Mr. Jewett also mentioned to the agent that he was in the market for good timber.  The agent found the remaining materials from the Joseph Seagram Distillery in Waterloo which was demolished in 1993.  After another successful bid, Mr. Jewett had the timber from the distillery building trucked from a storage yard to the farm. The dark wood rafters and the stall post and beams are all Douglas fir salvaged from the distillery. The structural posts in the barn and in the link building which leads to the tack room are made from the 4”x4” barrel racking rails. These were once used to hold the whiskey barrels during the aging process.  Even the wainscoting along the walkway from the stable to the arena was re-sawn from this material.


Mr. Jewett continued to collect materials that fit the design of the facility.  In 2002, he read an article about a company named Priestly who were planning to demolish Terminal 1 at Pearson International Airport.  He was able to acquire the window glass, a receiving door and an old Customs bench. The glass and receiving door were incorporated into the arena and the customs bench now provides seating in the viewing lounge.


The Douglas fir stall planks are made from the floor joists salvaged from an old warehouse on Toronto’s King Street since demolished for a condominium.  One morning, with flashlight in hand, Mr. Jewett browsed through the building at 7 am and spot bid on items.  He says, “You may spend less on materials but [you] spend more on time than anything else”.  With a demolition schedule looming, Mr. Jewett had to move quickly to remove the timber he had just purchased.  He noticed that his local building supply store regularly shipped materials into the city for construction but the trucks would return empty.  He contacted the store and asked if they could stop by the site, load the wood and ship it north again. For a nominal fee, the supply store agreed.  In time, the Douglas fir planks were de-nailed and planed and then reassembled as the stall fronts and exterior surfaces.


In 2004, Mr. Jewett happened upon the 24’ diameter hexagonal skylight by chance. On his way home from work he noticed construction equipment outside the Thorncrest Mall on John Street in Thornhill.  He took a chance and approached the site foreman to inquire about purchasing the skylight.  The foreman agreed and arrangements were made to disassemble the structure. The skylight was taken down, pane by pane, loaded on a truck, and stored in the same field as the arena beams for over 12 months.  It was reassembled when the time was right and hoisted onto the roof by crane.


Mr. Jewett credits his successful construction to a flexible design.  He had an original concept in mind and collected the materials he felt suited his vision.  Many changes were made during the 5 years it took to assemble the material and construct the facility.  The barn’s skylight is a good example; because the skylight was not included in the original design, the building roof aperture was too small to accommodate its size.  The aperture was adjusted and reinforced to hold the weight of the glass.  Looking at the roof today, you would not notice that the skylight over-reaches the roof aperture by about 2 feet.  Jewett says that “it is these subtleties that give the building its unique character”.


Mr. Jewett recognizes that this type of material sourcing isn’t for everybody. It is a time consuming process and most times, the shipping and labour components associated with salvaging materials far surpass the value of the material itself. For Jewett however, reducing his environmental footprint by using recycled and refurbished materials was more important to him. “If you are willing to do the leg work and put in the time to view materials and ‘sleuth’ around then you can definitely get a deal”, he says.


If he were to do it all again, Mr. Jewett recommends that people start by visiting stores such as The Habitat for Humanity Re-Store or National Building Supply.  He also suggests that you start talking to people as one thing leads to another.  If your budget permits, you could also contact a demolition company directly or retain an agent that specializes in finding these types of materials to assist you.

This article has been prepared by the Healthy Lands for Healthy Horses Steering Committee, which is comprised of representatives from Equine Guelph, University of Guelph, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Horse Facilities Council, Uxbridge Horseman’s Association, Ontario Trail Riders Association, and various Conservation Authorities.  Funding for events organized by this committee has been provided by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association from the Nutrient Management BMP Demonstration Grant funding project.

For more information please visit: www.equineguelph.ca/healthylands.php


Tags: , , ,

General | green | horse | recycle