By John Guelly, ACPC Director
canolaPALOOZA took place June 23, 2015 on a bright, sunny day at the perfect plot land of the Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Lacombe Research Center in Central Alberta!
Over 250 of our closest friends (producers and agronomists) and dozens of Western Canadian canola experts met to look, listen, talk and ask questions about the thousands of canola plants that were planted earlier this spring. It was a magnificent combination of information, carnival atmosphere, food and impromptu social get-togethers.
Registration was free, and the event was hosted by the ACPC & Canola Council of Canada in cooperation with the fabulous technical and scientific staff at the Lacombe Research Centre, along with several generous sponsors.
Attendees were allowed to wander the area and jump into conversations with experts from various aspects of canola growing from the soil pit to the combine. You could spend as much or as little time at each of the ten stations while stopping to visit with friends or neighbours whenever you wanted. Each booth had a carnival style atmosphere from dunk tanks to hardest hockey shot to a unicycle rider with a sprayer!
- Soil pits, soil sampling & soil tests
- Bees & honey
- Plant stand diagnostics
- Insects & pests
- Seeding rates & spacing
- Canola diseases
- Fertility trials
- Combining losses
- UAV & drone applications
- Spray nozzle selection
More than 70 canola plots sized 12′ by 50′ were growing on hand to give a powerful visual and speaking points. Plots included comparison of:
- Seeding rates
- Seed sizes
- Row spacings
- Planting equip types
- Micro applications
- Macro rate changes
As well as mystery diagnostic plots including:
- Seeding speed
- Seeding depth
- Excessive trash
- Conventional till vs direct seeding
Lunch was also free and available from a number of on site food trucks that included fish or pulled pork tacos, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches including apple bacon, ice cream, fresh made churros, popcorn, coffee, donuts and muffins.
This event was a fun-filled educational tool to benefit all canola producers from new growers to the well-seasoned canola gurus. An event like no other I have been to. Time is sacred during the growing season, but this was one event that was well worth parking the sprayer or taking a pass on that round of golf and a burger. We can only hope that canolaPALOOZA grows into an annual event!
Alberta Canola Connects is your window into the activities of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission as we work both locally and globally to help contribute to the long term success of canola farmers in Alberta.