Agriculture and Environmental Protection Services

The Agricultural Fieldman for the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass can be contacted for weed and pest control, soil conservation and any agricultural or environmental concerns within the Municipality. Please call the Agricultural Fieldman to access free information, booklets, brochures, handouts and reserve books on agricultural and environmental materials (weeds, pests, water wells, re-vegetation, etc).   Bill Hnatiuk, Agricultural Fieldman can be contacted by phone at 403-563-8658, fax 403-563-5474 or by email at  bill.hnatiuk@crowsnestpass.com

Together the Agricultural Service Board, Agricultural Fieldman and other staff make up the Agricultural and Environmental Protection Services Department whose responsibilities include the enforcement and administration of the following statutes: Agricultural Service Board Act, Weed Control Act, Soil Conservation Act, and Agricultural Pests Act.

2018 Crowsnest Pass Agriculture & Environmental Protection Services Program History & Continuity

2018 Agricultural Situational Statement for the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass

Links to legislation

Agricultural Services Board Act

Weed Control Act
Weed Control Act Regulations with Prohibited Noxious & Noxious Weed Lists

Soil Conservation Act
Soil Conservation Regulations

Agricultural Pests Act
Agricultural Pests Regulations

Notice of Weed Control Program

As designated by the Alberta Weed Control Act, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and its contractors will eradicate and control Prohibited Noxious and Noxious Weeds by mechanical, cultural, biological and pesticide application, commencing on May 15th until October 31st (weather permitting).

Identification of these specific weeds can be found in the Weed Control Act and Weed Control Regulation.

Weed ID booklets, pamphlets, and brochures can also be obtained at the Agriculture and Environmental Services Office located; Fire hall, 2nd floor 2141 127 Street Blairmore. Call 403-563-8658 for an appointment.

The pesticide application contract is awarded to certified and licensed weed application contractors. Spraying will be completed in specific locations around Crowsnest Pass and within the following town sites; Passburg, Bellevue, Hillcrest, Frank, Blairmore, and Coleman. Annual control of infestations is critical to the long term prosperity of our natural landscape. Due diligence with regards to public safety and environmental impact will be followed. We recommend staying off sprayed areas for 24 hours following the application time and date (posted on signage).

What you can do:

  • Destroy/remove Prohibited Noxious and Noxious weeds from your yard. Be sure to remove the entire plant and roots if possible.
  • Let your neighbors know if you find a Prohibited Noxious or Noxious Weed on your property, it may have spread.
  • Dispose of the weeds by double bagging the plant and placing it in your regular garbage disposal. DO NOT COMPOST (seeds will spread in new soil).
  • When selecting plants for your yard, purchase plants native to Crowsnest Pass.
  • Volunteer for environmental cleanup events to learn about invasive species in Crowsnest Pass. The Crowsnest Conservation Society, along with other collaborative organizations, also offer weed pull volunteer days and educational related events.

Please direct questions and investigations to Bill Hnatiuk, Ag-Fieldman or Weed Inspectors for the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass: 403-563-8658 or 403-563-6247.

What to do when you receive an Inspector's Notice?

  • Take a look at which weeds are on the Notice. Are they Prohibited Noxious or Noxious weeds? This will determine what action you will take to comply with the Notice (note the compliance completion date). Will you need to control or destroy the weeds?
  • Identify the weeds on your property. If you have tenants or someone else taking care of your property (they should have received a posted/hand delivered Notice), then have them ID the weeds. Contact the Weed Inspector if in need of assistance.
  • Assess the weed problem. Knowing what you have and how big of an infestation you are dealing with will help you determine what practices to use in controlling/destroying the weeds.

Actions:

Hand-pulling - This method works well for low to moderate infestations. If done properly, you can eliminate the weeds on your land for that season. You want to make sure you pull as much of the root as possible. Tools may be needed on some species. Don’t forget the seedlings! This process is an effective way to eradicate weeds from your property. Remember to double bag the weeds and take them to the dump as soon as possible so they do not have a chance to spread.

Mowing/string trimming - This method is good for moderate to high infestations. If done properly, you can reduce the seed amount going into the ground and have less growth next season. You want to make sure you keep up with the growth of the weeds. You may need to cut the weeds down before it’s time to mow the grass again. By keeping the weeds cut down, you’re making sure they won’t produce seed. Since most weeds are perennials, the same plants you’ve been cutting regularly will come back next season. By cutting the weeds every season, you eventually wear them down so that they’ll no longer have the energy to come back in the future. This is a slow but effective process to eradicate weeds from your property.

Landscaping - Proper landscaping is a long term solution to solve your weed infestation. Finished landscaping reduces the area in which weeds thrive (gravel, bare soils, and low vegetation). Having a healthy competition of desirable native species/vegetation will help to keep the weeds off your property. If weeds get a chance to establish, then the native species you have planted will out compete the weeds naturally. If you kill your weeds with chemicals and are left with little vegetation and/or bare soil, spread mulch over the area (leaves, straw, store bought). This acts as a barrier between the weed seeds and the resources they need to germinate.

Herbicide application - This method is good for moderate to high infestations. If done properly, you can reduce the amount of seed going into the ground and have less growth next season. Some things you need to know about applying herbicide is what kind will work best for the species you’re trying to kill, and when is the best time to apply it? You may need to apply the herbicide multiple times during the season. Remember to apply the herbicide before the weeds have gone to seed. Combining this method with the previous one is a great way to eradicate weeds from your property.

Remember:

  • The longer the weeds have been there, the longer it will take to eradicate them. This is an on-going process, but you will see results if you stay consistent.
  • Having proper knowledge of the types of weeds you are dealing with will make for a better outcome.
  • Seeds can be viable in the ground for 25 years plus and create a massive seed bank. That’s why it’s important to control the weeds before they become a problem.
  • Regular property maintenance and finished landscaping is a long term solution to prevent invasive weeds from spreading and establishing.
  • Please don’t hesitate to contact the Agricultural and Environmental Services Department if you have any concerns/questions, we are here to help!

Early Detection Rapid Response

Spread the Word not the Weed!

Invasive Species - Click image for Fact Sheets

Invasive Species - Click image for Fact Sheets

Spread of weeds prohibited 4(1)

Subject to the regulations, a person shall not use or move anything that, if used or moved, might spread a noxious weed or prohibited noxious weed.

 

Offence and penalty 28

A person who contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not more than $5000 or, in the case of failure to comply with a Minister’s notice, a fine of not more than $1000 for each day the offence continues.

(See Weed Control Act)

PlayCleanGo

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is proud to be a PlayCleanGo Partner.

Working with a group of interagency partners, including the University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota departments of Agriculture and Transportation, and Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has launched PlayCleanGo, an education and outreach campaign for outdoor recreationalists. The goal is to encourage outdoor recreation while protecting valuable natural resources. The objective is to slow or stop the spread of terrestrial invasive species (those that occur on land) through changes in public behavior. The campaign is designed to foster active participation in actions designed to interrupt recreational pathways of spread for invasive species. PlayCleanGo promotes awareness, understanding, and cooperation by providing a clear call to action to be informed, attentive and accountable for stopping the spread of terrestrial invasive species.

Pest Control

Please refer to the Alberta Pest Control Act and Regulations for a list of pest and nuisance animals.

Pest Management Links

Biology & Control of Skunks: Skunk traps are available for rent from the Agricultural Fieldman. $65 deposit (cash or cheque which will be returned once the trap has been returned in the same condition that it was borrowed) and a $10 rental fee.

Control of Porcupine damage
Mice and their control
An Improved Magpie Trap
Grasshopper Management
Protecting Livestock from Predation with Electric Fences
Sparrows

Rats

Alberta is 1 of 3 places on earth that is free from established rat populations (others locations being the North and South Pole). Some native animals to the Crowsnest Pass have been mistaken for rats so it is important to know the differences between invasive Norway and Roof rats compared to native Pack rats/Wood rats, or Muskrats. The pictures below will help you to identify each species of invasive or native rats. All Norway or Roof rat sightings MUST be reported to the Agriculture & Environmental Services Department immediately in order to prevent their spread.

Roof Rat, Muskrat, Packrat & Pocket Gopher Comparison Sketches
Norway Rat Sketch
Rat Control in Alberta
History of Rat Control in Alberta

Gophers and Ground Squirrels

The Crowsnest Pass is situated in the foothills and Rocky Mountains of Alberta. This means the Columbian Ground Squirrel and the Northern Pocket Gopher are the main species of ground squirrels and gophers present in the Crowsnest Pass. The Richardson Ground Squirrel lives in the prairies and looks different from the Columbian Ground Squirrel. Much of the literature available on gopher control focuses on Richardson’s Ground Squirrels and not Columbian Ground Squirrels. The same control methods are used to control both species of ground squirrels. Pocket Gophers require another tactic and trap because they live under the ground and only surface at night for air to avoid their predators.

Control of Pocket Gophers and Ground Squirrels
Richardson’s Ground Squirrels
Pocket Gopher Control Information

Alberta Agriculture Insect Monitoring Program

Alberta Agriculture Insect Monitoring Program

For more information, please visit https://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app21/infopage?cat1=Diseases%2FInsects%2F%20Pests

Plants and Soil Conservation

Lyons Creek Healthy Riparian Area

Lyons Creek Healthy Riparian Area

Please refer to the Soil Conservation Act and Regulations for more information.

The Alberta Native Plant Council's list of Native Plant Sources to buy native seeds or plants that are not invasive or weeds.

50 Best Plants for Prairie Urban Gardens in Southern Alberta
Agricultural Soil Compaction Causes and Management

Riparian Restoration

Riparian Restoration at Flumerfelt Park

Riparian Restoration at Flumerfelt Park

In the 2016 season the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department worked on a number of riparian restoration projects. A native plant and willow staking project was completed north of Frank on Gold Creek adjacent to Benga property. As well, project planning was completed for future riparian restoration of Gold Creek at the confluence of Crowsnest River for completion in 2017. Willow staking was also performed on P. Burns Creek alongside the riparian restoration project completed in 2015, and at the McGillivray Creek confluence with Crowsnest River. A total of 478 bags of weeds weighing a total of 2710 kg (5975 lbs) were pulled by our department this season and taken to the landfill.  These weeds were from various areas within the Municipality including along Crowsnest Lake, Crowsnest River, Drum Creek, Gold Creek, Lyons Creek, McGillivray Creek, Nez Pearce Creek and P. Burns Creek.

Riparian Area Health Brochure
Riparian Area Health Newsletter
2018 Riparian Restoration Update

For more information on riparian restoration please visit the links below:

Crowsnest Conservation Society
Alberta Conservation Association
Cows and Fish Alberta Riparian Management Society
Oldman Watershed Council
Government of Alberta Water for Life

Farm Energy Agri-Processing (FEAP) Program Open

www.agriculture.alberta.ca/feap

FEAP is a combination of two discontinued GF2 programs:

  • On-Farm Energy Management Program
  • Accelerating Agricultural Innovation Program (Stream C)

By combining these two programs, a single program can be offered across the whole agricultural value-chain, for energy efficiency and energy management projects.

Farm Energy and Agri-Processing (FEAP) Program

  • The producer FEAP program has a $13.5 M budget for 2018-19
  • The program has received over 670 applications to date
  • Even if we approved everything in the queue we would have over $2.5M still available and another $13.5 M for next fiscal year.

Program Description:

The Farm Energy and Agri-Processing Program shares costs with the agriculture and agri-processing sector on energy efficiency investments.  The Program is designed to encourage energy management which will result in cost savings, energy conservation, and ultimately, reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Program offers financial support, subject to financial constraint, to Applicants who incorporate high efficiency equipment that is identified in the applicable Funding List in their construction and/or retrofitting projects.

Key Messages:

  • This program is RETROACTIVE to April 2016.
    • Applicants with eligible receipts dated April 2016 and later can apply.
    • Retroactive projects are subject to current eligibility criteria.
  • 50% cost share on most items. See Funding List for full details.
  • $250,000 maximum grant per Applicant per year
  • Funding Timeline is from now to Feb 2020
  • An EFP is NOT a prerequisite for this funding
  • Applications will be processed in a first complete, first served basis.
    • Incomplete applications will not secure a spot in line.
  • Once applications have been approved, producers can watch for emails from the grant management system: "Grant_Management_System@agric.gov.ab.ca" They will get notifications from this email address as their application moves through the steps.

For More Information:

Visit  www.agriculture.alberta.ca/feap for:

  • Application forms
  • Producer Funding List
  • Processor Funding List
  • Program Terms and Conditions

 

The On-Farm Solar PV Program

The program is being discontinued under GF2. It will now be a provincial program, located on Ropin’ The Web.

URL is:   http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/general/progserv.nsf/all/pgmsrv464

This move is happening because the March 31 deadline of GF2 is causing concern among solar installers. Since they cannot be sure that they can complete projects before that date, they are unable to apply. This move should alleviate that concern and get applications moving again.  Please communicate this to your networks and drum up some business!

If producers have questions that you can’t answer, here’s where to send them:

  • All Agri-Processing Questions go to Dana Gibson:  780-980-4220
  • For Producer Questions:

Forward to:

Number:

If caller is producer and Q is about:

Keri McPhee

403-329-1212, x230

Status of application

Jason Price

780-427-4181

Policy, or complaints

Outreach Officers

Vern: 403-894-0050

Ponoka,

Clearwater,

Lacombe,

Red Deer,

Starland,

Kneehill,

Mountainview,

Bighorn,

Rocky View,

Wheatland,

Newell,

Vulcan,

Foothills,

Cypress,

Willow Creek,

Ranchland, M.D.

Taber,

Lethbridge,

Forty Mile,

Pincher Creek,

Cardston,

Warner

 

Lyle: 780-581-8403

Acadia County

Beaver County

Bonnyville MD

Camrose County

Flagstaff County

Minburn County

Lac la Biche County

Lamont County

Paintearth County

Provost County

St. Paul County

Smoky Lake County

Stettler County

Special Area 2

Special Area 3

Special Area 4

Two Hills County

Vermilion River County

Wainwright County

 

Kale: 780-307-7849

All other MDs

 

Applicant or equipment eligibility

Solar PV Program

  • The Solar PV program has a $3.5 M budget for 2018-19
  • The program has received over 68 applications to date
  • The program has approved less than $2M in applications, so we have over $1.5M still to allocate, and another $3.5 M next fiscal year.

www.agriculture.alberta.ca/solar

Horse Industry Association of Alberta

The Horse Industry Association of Alberta (HIAA) was informally established in 1982 to act as an organizing body for the Horse Breeders & Owners Conference. Until this time, the conference had been hosted by the University of Calgary Continuing Education Department under the direction of Ron Cole. With Ron's retirement, the conference was in danger of discontinuing, so a dedicated group took it on and moved it to its current location in Red Deer. By 1991, the growth of the conference necessitated the incorporation of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta under the Alberta Society's Act as a non-profit organization.

For details and current events and workshops, please visit http://www.albertahorseindustry.ca/

Agronomy Update 2018

Agronomy Update 2018 - A two-day conference for grain producers, crop advisors, and industry partners to interface with leading agricultural scientists about relevant soil and crop issues.

Environmental Stewardship News - January 2018

Environmental Stewardship News October 2018

Pest Insider

Pest Insider September 2018

The Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP)

https://cap.alberta.ca/CAP/Programs

Most of the CAP program grants are merit based.

There are grants available on a first-come, first-served basis for a variety of water sourcing, conservation and protection projects.

Farm Water and Irrigation Efficiency are available for application now.

The Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change  - Producer may be of interest to primary producers.

Below are possible activities for approval:

Activities include (but are not limited to) Beneficial Management Practices, such as:

  • watering systems
  • riparian fencing
  • livestock facility management
  • improved manure storage facilities
  • manure application
  • sectional controls
  • agricultural plastic bag rollers
  • shelterbelts.

The following groups, located in Alberta, are eligible to apply for the Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change – Group grants:

  • Applied Research Associations
  • Forage Associations
  • Agricultural Commodity Groups
  • Rural Municipalities
  • Agricultural Watershed Groups.

Eligible activities include:

This program aims to benefit Alberta's agriculture industry by funding organizations, associations, and other groups to deliver extension, carry out applied research, and strategically manage data.. A merit-based approval process will be followed, with two application intake cycles per year.

Activities funded by this program will help industry to protect or improve water quality and soil health, to position itself for success in a low-carbon economy, and to adapt operations to climate change.

Projects funded under this opportunity will help the agriculture industry:

  • Minimize wasted resources and optimize efficiencies
  • Implement strategies around risks and opportunities associated with its greenhouse gas emissions
  • Develop standards and strategies in relation to regional and international sustainability initiatives
  • Protect or improve market access through environmental practices

Application Dates:

  • April 3, 2018 - May 1, 2018
  • May 2, 2018 – August 1, 2018
  • August 2, 2018 – January 31, 2019

AgriProfit$ Business Analysis and Research Program Video

Economics Section, Economics and Competitiveness, Agriculture and Forestry, has just released a new video showcasing the AgriProfit$ Program. This Program is designed to help producers gain insight into what is contributing to their total farm’s performance. AgriProfit$ provides cost and return analysis by enterprise. In return for their participation, producers receive financial and production performance reports which aide in the identification of efficiencies and areas for improvements. The Program is free and individual information remains confidential. Aggregated results are published and used for benchmark comparisons. 

Recently the AgriProfit$ Program completed technical enhancements to facilitate ease of use, improved result interpretation and system flexibility. Knowing their own cost of production on the farm is a starting point for profitability. Each year is different – dependent on the relationships between yield – price – costs and the producer’s financial situation. 

Economic Section is positioning itself to broaden the reach of AgriProfit$ to more cattle and crop producers. 

Check out this video to learn how the Program works and hear from some of the returning participants as to how the Program helped in their farm decisions and the difference it made to their business.

AgriProfit$ Video: https://youtu.be/X3oRZR5XiO4

AgriProfit$ Social Media Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NPj7P9qIQg

AgriProfit$ Website: agriculture.alberta.ca/agriprofits

Farm Health and Safety Producer Grants

Farm Health and Safety Producer Grants Funding List

Farm Health and Safety Producer Grants Frequently Asked Questions