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Workshop - Agricultural Pests: Practical Tools for Producers (April 16, Williams Lake)

The Cariboo-Chilcotin is home to a diverse and valuable range of agriculture. As climate changes, the effects of invasive species and pests in the Cariboo is expected to become more prevalent and have been identified as a key threat to the industry. Join us for a day to gain practical tools for identification, effective treatment and management strategies for priority pests and invasive species.

Invasive Species Council of BC

Invasive species are threatening BC’s aquatic and riparian ecosystems, such as streams, lakes, and wetlands, and the species that rely on them. They spread alarmingly fast between waterbodies and can create lasting ecological and economic damage, especially to the recreational areas that we enjoy.

Water-based recreation activities, like angling, boating, diving, and hunting, can spread aquatic invasive species to new locations. Plants, animals, and microscopic creatures can cling to clothing, equipment, and boats.

Forages and Manure - a match made in heaven? (2014)

It’s a most natural cycle. Forages are fed to livestock that produce manure, and manure is returned to the soil to provide the nutrients to produce the next crop. After all, it’s what has happened on pastures and rangelands for millennia. And there is more for today’s sustainable farmers. Compared to other crops, forages often need a lot of nutrients (N, P, K, S), the actual amounts of each nutrient needed depending on the grass-legume ratio. And there is a longer growing season, which means opportunities for earlier application, later application and mid-season applications. Grasses in particular have a ravenous appetite for nitrogen and are well adapted to capture whatever nitrogen is available in the soil – even to excess (hence high feed nitrate levels that sometimes occur). In our research over many years, we have found that grass systems which include the associated beneficial microbes (such as bacteria, fungi and nematodes) that store and recycle nutrients supported by decaying roots and root exudates are surprisingly protective of nitrogen. For that reason, and because of their long growing season and continuous ground cover, forages are less subject to nitrate leaching losses and less subject to manure runoff than cultivated crops. Also, there is less worry with forages about contamination by pathogenic microbes like E. coli, since microbes are very far from the food end-products. But there are complications – many and indeed serious ones. Let’s begin with grazing animals.