While some 30,000 farmers from across Western Canada won’t be converging on the Ag In Motion (AIM) farm show site near Lanigan, Sask., that doesn’t mean all is quiet on the 640-acre Discovery Farm site, which has hosted Western Canada’s largest outdoor farm show for the past six years.
Discovery Farm is the name of the overall property owned by Glacier Farm Media, with the AIM farm show claiming about 260 acres for demonstrations, exhibits, crop plot trials and parking. Adjacent to that is another 350 acres of cropland that has been devoted to applied research projects.
While restrictions surrounding the pandemic have affected large gatherings, “it really has been pretty well business as usual with the applied research projects,” says Blake Weiseth, Discovery Farm director of research and demonstrations. “Agriculture has been deemed an essential service, so our research projects went ahead as planned.”
From July 21 to 25, during the scheduled Ag In Motion days, farmers and viewers can log into the AIM website at aginmotion.ca and take a virtual tour of applied research projects.
“One of the larger projects we’ll be touring is the Field of Excellence project, which is evaluating variable rate fertilizer and seeding rates,” says Weiseth. The 180-acre Field of Excellence project is essentially a collaborative effort involving several of the Discovery Farm partners that supply equipment, crop inputs and agronomy services for different projects.
“We’ll be providing a video tour as well as have speakers available to describe different variable rate treatments, including fertility top dress applications in-crop,” says Weiseth.
Viewers will also be able to do an online tour of a smaller applied research project looking at the use of various forages, such as alfalfa as well as mixed forages, to control soil salinity.
Live tours may be possible
While the Field of Excellence site as well as about 25 acres of crop demonstration plots at the AIM site will be featured online during the Ag in Motion days, hopefully that isn’t the only time farmers will have a chance to see the projects, says Rob O’Connor, AIM show director. He’s hoping the show will be able to bring small groups of producers to the site for live, boots-on-the-ground visits during the summer.
“We have the applied research plots, we have several exhibitors continuing with their demonstration plots at the AIM site as well as other exhibitors who have invested in permanent displays at Ag In Motion,” says O’Connor.
“We are hoping there will be an opportunity during the growing season and early fall to bring smaller groups of producers to the farm for a first-hand look.”