For the last five years Prairie North Co-op has donated to the Kelvington Community Grow Project, a crop that is planted as a fundraiser for the Kelvington Ag Society, Bowling Alley, Curling Rink, Skating Rink and Swimming Pool. Tyler Romanus, president and spokesperson for the group, explains, “it is all done by volunteers and we never have a problem getting what we need throughout the growing season whether that is seed, spray, hauling, the equipment to work the field or the volunteers.”
The quarter section of land used for the Community Grow Project, owned by the Ag Society, is northeast of the town of Kelvington. For the past five years, including 2020, it has been seeded to canola. With the inputs and labour donated, the field raises about $50,000 each year. “None of it would be possible without the partnerships with the Ag businesses in the area – Prairie North Co-op, Richardson Pioneer, Nutrien, 4-Corners Ag and Pro-Soils,” says Romanus. For the 2020 growing season Prairie North Co-op donated diesel fuel and pre-burn chemical.
Between Naicam and Spalding, just southeast of the Prairie North Co-op Ag Centre, is another fundraising field planted to red spring wheat. For the last 20+ years volunteers have planted crops on 145 acres to raise funds for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 Canadian churches and church-based agencies working together to end global hunger. Chad Ferguson, president of the local group, shares, “from 2000 to 2019 we donated $744,000 from the sale of grain. The government matches our contribution 4 to 1 so it works out to almost $3 million donated because of our project.” In the past Prairie North Co-op has donated everything from grain hauling to fertilizer to credit on account for fuel. This year $2500 was donated to inputs.
Between July 21 and August 7, field tours are being held at the CropPro Precision Ag Research Site three kilometres east of Naicam to showcase new and applied precision technology. The tours begin with a presentation that highlights timing, methods, and rationale for tests and applications on the field throughout the growing season; and conclude with a field tour to view the differences in the crop due to water maps, soil research, nutrient tests, variable-rate applications of seed varieties and rates (drill, drone), fertilizers (drill, drone, floater), herbicides (sprayer), and fungicides (plane). The opportunity to learn about and see the results of various precision technologies first-hand and on such a large scale is unprecedented and will serve as an informative and enlightening experience for producers across Western Canada. Larry Kohl, Agro Division Manager at Prairie North Co-op says, “we were proud to get onboard as a Gold sponsor of the research site not only for the learning opportunity that it affords our Agro Team but also for the chance to invite the area producers who are our members, to attend the field tours.”