University of Saskatchewan

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AOPA field day

AOPA collage
Photos by Brenda Frick, collage by Jessica Valois
  • Cerah Boyer is a young veterinarian from the Barrhead area. She is working with a number of dairy herds in transition to organics. She finds that the key is in prevention rather than treatment, and that organic animals need fewer treatments, because of better overall management. She is compiling a list of organic inputs available in the US and not yet available in Canada. There is a plan to fast track these onto the Veterinarian Natural Health Products list in the Canadian system. The group discussed a variety of health products from diatomaceous earth, chicken broth, beer, garlic, ginger, aloe, vitamin C and E, to homeopathic products, and honey.
  • Nedra Stanley discussed the rules around maintaining a proper audit trail. These include a 3 to 5 year history, maps that include neighbouring lands, non-GMO affidavits, records of all inputs, buffers, cleanup documentation, field activity logs, livestock records, lot numbers and even a complaint log.                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • We toured the CanOat plant in Barrhead. The Barrhead plant is one of the smaller CanOat plants. They are currently about 25% organic but are considering if supply of oats and demand for milled organic oats might warrant a dedicated organic facility.                                                                                                         
  • We toured oat plots that had different harrowing intensities, including up to 7 times. All treatments looked good.
  • Gateway Research Organization showed plots near Pickardville. These included a check, a calcium product, a fish product and two different named inputs. Producers could not identify clear differences as this point in the season, and 3 years of study did not detect significant differences.