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Agricultural

The agricultural services department receives direction from the Agricultural Service Board (ASB). This department is responsible for administering and developing programs to compliment the Agricultural Service Board Act, the Weed Control Act, the Agricultural Pests Act and the Soil Conservation Act. (Copies of these Acts can be found on Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's website.)

They are also responsible for assisting local producers with Environmental Farm Plans, and with the application process for Growing Forward grant funding.

Other areas of responsibility include hamlet park maintenance, brush control in rights-of-way and agricultural education and awareness.

 
 
New Prohibited Noxious Weed Has Shown up in the Area!
Flowering Rush is a cattail like perennial of freshwater wetlands. It can grow on water margins or as a submerged plant in deeper water. Weed Inspectors are aware of the plant's existence of along the South Saskatchewan River. At this point it is not believed that this weed exists in any great amount, so controlling it quickly when it is found would be ideal.  

Since this plant grows in or in close proximity to water hand removal is basically the only option. Cutting below the water surface can suppress the plants but will need to be repeated. Hand digging is an option, but care must be taken to remove all parts of the plant since root fragments can break off and drift in the water, causing another infestation. Plant matter, once removed can be disposed of in the landfill.

The County asks that, should you find any flowering rush on your property, you should dispose of it immediately. As a courtesy, informing ASB staff of its presence will enable the County to track the locations of where the plant is. If you are unable to deal with the weed on your own please feel free to contact the County and staff can provide assistance.

For more information on identifying and controlling the plant please see the Alberta Invasive Species Council fact sheet for Flowering Rush.

Some photos in an identification fact sheet.

 
ASB Year End Reports   

At the end of each year the ASB Chairman prepares a report on the ASB's activities. To view these reports please click on the Agricultural Services Board folder at the bottom of the page or on the Documents page

ASB News Newsletter

Cypress County's ASB, in partnership with the County of Forty Mile, publishes a newsletter highlighting new and interesting subject matter affecting agriculture. To view these newsletters please click on the Agricultural Services Board folder at the bottom of the page or on the Documents page.

ASB Agendas & Minutes

Agendas and Minutes for ASB meetings can be found on the Documents Page under Agendas & Minutes > Agricultural Services Board

Agricultural Service Board Contact Info
Chairman

Dustin Vossler: Phone: (403) 502-1834 : Email: dustin.vossler@cypress.ab.ca

Members

Michelle McKenzie: Phone: (403) 878-5705: Email: michelle.mckenzie@cypress.ab.ca

Shane Hok: Phone: (403) 504-9753: Email: shane.hok@cypress.ab.ca

Conny Kappler (member at large): Phone: (403) 580-5582: Email: cornelia.62@hotmail.com

Josh Beck (member at large): Phone: (403) 548-9809: Email: beckfarms2@gmail.com

Staff

Jason Storch (Agricultural Fieldman): Phone: (403) 526-2888: On Leave

Kennedy Fandrick (Acting Assistant Agricultural Fieldman): Phone: (403) 526-2888: Email: kennedy.fandrick@cypress.ab.ca

2015 Crop Variety Guides
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with Agriculture Canada have released their cereal variety guides for 2015. These guides can assist producers in selecting varieties of crops that will offer resistance to certain diseases.

 
 
Environmental Farm Plans and Growing Forward
If you are interested in doing an Environmental Farm Plan for you operation or would like to apply for Growing Forward funding, you can contact the Cypress County office and Lisa Sulz can assist you with the process.

 
Hamlet Parks Maintenance
Cypress County’s Ag Department is responsible for mowing the grass and basic maintenance of the parks and green spaces in Desert Blume and Irvine.  All other hamlets have community associations that are responsible for maintaining their parks.

 
Here are some links to agriculturally related programs and information:
The Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes cattle producers whose natural resource stewardship practices contribute to the environment and enhance productivity and profitability.
 
The Norway Rat is designated as a pest under the Agricultural Pests Act and as such must be destroyed when found. A 2014 infestation at the Medicine Hat Sanitary Landfill has been eradicated.

If you think that you have seen a rat all residents are encouraged to contact the County.

Since Cypress County borders Saskatchewan, we have a contract with the Province stating that we will inspect all possible rat habitat within 12 miles of the Saskatchewan border. These inspections take place in November and December.

For information on identifying rats and steps you can take to protect your property go to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's website on Rat Control.

For more information please contact the Cypress County office.
 
Rat Monitoring Program Success
May 15, 2014

The total number of rat carcasses found, remains at 78. Baiting and monitoring of bait stations at the landfill will continue until the goal of eradication is accomplished. 

Cypress County is continuing to perform monthly inspections of bait stations within a 3 mile buffer zone for the foreseeable future.

April 30, 2014

Since the last update, there have not been any dead rats found.  Inspectors continue to aggressively bait and progress toward the goal of eradication.

April 23, 2014

Since the last update, another 15 dead rats have been found, bringing the total number of dead rats up to 78. Inspectors are continuing to see a reduction in the number of dead rats found and there is less bait being consumed.

These are all positive signs in regards to eradicating the rats.

We will continue to aggressively bait and progress toward our eradication goal until it is accomplished.

April 15, 2014

The City of Medicine Hat, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Cypress County baiting, monitoring and eradication efforts at the landfill is showing that there has been a significant decrease in the amount of rat activity compared to last week.  As of today a total of 63 rat carcasses have been collected.

These are positive signs that the eradication program is having the desired effect.

All parties will continue with the increased monitoring levels until there are several weeks of no rat activity, before reducing the intervals of inspections.

Cypress County will continue with baiting and monitoring the 3 mile buffer zone around the landfill for the foreseeable future, as a proactive, precautionary measure. 

April 8, 2014

Upon further investigation of a single rat found in a farm yard south of Highway 41A, several rats were spotted in the Medicine Hat landfill. The City of Medicine Hat, Cypress County and Alberta Agriculture are working together to investigate and address the situation.

Since 2012 the City, County and Province have continually monitored within the landfill and also within a 3 mile buffer zone surrounding the landfill, for any rat activity. These rats were found as a result of this monitoring, which shows that our monitoring program is working. Additional bait stations have been put out to poison rats, and staff are checking sites daily. Thanks to Albertans’ vigilance, and the quick response of provincial and municipal inspectors, rats have been unable to make a permanent home in this province.

If anyone thinks that they’ve seen a rat they are encouraged to call the Cypress County office at (403) 526-2888 or City Bylaw at (403) 529-8481.


Cypress County has several pieces of rental equipment available to rate payers
This includes:
  • Two 15 foot Sunflower no-till seed drills
  • 14 foot land roller (can be filled with water)
  • Cattle scale
  • Weigh wagon
  • Shelterbelt mulch applicator
  • Skunk and raccoon traps
  • Back Pack Sprayers
  • Tree planters
  • Pasture pipeline plow
  • Solar cattle waterer
  • Exit applicator
To check the availability of any of the equipment or to book the equipment for use please contact the County office.
Roadside (from the edge of the road to the fence line) spraying is done to keep weeds in the ditch from spreading into the adjacent field. The weeds that are primarily targeted are those that are listed in the regulations of the Weed Control Act. We do not blanket spray the ditches, but rather spot spray individual plants or patches of weeds.

The County’s roadsides are sprayed on a rotational basis, with 1/3 of the county’s roads being sprayed each year. Any newly constructed roads are sprayed, as needed, for at least 3 years, or until the grass is sufficiently established to out compete most weeds.

Herbicides that are used include, Milestone, Clearview, 2,4-D, Glyphosate, Garlon, and Tordon 22K.

Cypress County does not allow organic producers to use any part of the municipal right-of-way for a buffer zone. Organic producers are encouraged to contact the county to alert the Ag Services department of their organic status. Staff will do their best to ensure that they are careful in those areas, but the county reserves the right to control weeds in the right-of-way as needed.

For more information please contact the Cypress County  office.