Our Publications

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Upcoming MARA Events:

  • MARA 2016-2017 AGM, Farmers Appreciation Supper & presentation in Maximizing Grain Yield (February 9 2017)
  • MARA-Organic Alberta Organic Transitions Workshop and Organic Grain and Field Crops Conference – April 7th & April 8th, 2017 at the La Crete Heritage Center
  • Northern Ag Update, Fort Vermilion Community Complex, April 19th, 2017. More details to come!
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The MARA board once again welcomes the opportunity to share the success of our efforts over the past year. With the diversity of agriculture enterprises in the region we have tried to develop a program that will continue to benefit as many producers as possible. The continuation of the RVT’s, the fertility trials, the ongoing field scale fungicide testing, are a portion of our work that hopefully is a benefit to the traditional grain sector. We continue to support the growing organic industry with the ongoing variety testing, the oat breeding, and cover crop trials. We have also started the agronomic hemp trials with support from REDI.

The livestock portion of the program is being addressed with grazing trials and work in forage production.

The extension side of our program continues to expand with crop-pasture walks and workshops covering numerous topics hosting knowledgeable speakers. We also continue to facilitate Environment Farm Plans within the County…

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Upcoming MARA Events:

  • Free Environmental Farm Plan & Growing Forward 2 workshop-Fort Vermilion (November 21 2016)
  • Livestock Grazing and Pasture Management Workshop-La Crete (December 5 2016)
  • MARA 2016-2017 AGM, Farmers Appreciation Supper & presentation in Maximizing Grain Yield (February 9 2017)
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A year’s supply of hay has been harvested. Bales are coming into the feed yard for storage. What is the best strategy to stack and store the hay to minimize weather damage, shrink, and nutrient loss? Preventing moisture from migrating into the bales from rain or melting snow reduces bacteria, mold and fungi growth which reduces damage. Three common methods of stacking hay are compared.

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MARA had a busy but progressive 2015. Our agronomic field work was adversely impacted by the record 50-year low precipitation levels received during the growing season, to the extent that some plots were not harvested. However, I will not be focusing on the drought, but on the good people of Mackenzie County: the local producers who volunteered 100 of hours of their time to plan, seed, manage, harvest and market MARA’s field scale projects. On behalf of all MARA staff, I would like to thank you for not just your hard work in feeding the world, but for keeping MARA’s research and extension programs alive. MARA’s relationship with Mackenzie County is excellent. And the support the County provides to us, deserves mention and appreciation…

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2013 was a challenging year for MARA with the abrupt resignation of Ravinder Pannu, the former Research Coordinator at the height of the planting season for RVTs and other varietal research plots. Regardless, MARA’s board members stepped forward to oversee the planting season, developing the research plantings and plots successfully by mid-June. The summer months provided generally good growing conditions and the plots matured nicely by mid- September. 950 small plots were harvested successfully in 2013 research trial programs for three government agencies and five private clients under the leadership of the Assistant Manager/Coordinator, Jacob Marfo Ph. D., hired on August 15, followed by James P. Ludwig Ph.D., Coordinator/Manager on September 9. Limited water quality research on the nutritional and bacterial status of farm dugouts was completed in the spring and fall…