Moose Jaw River
Watershed Stewards Inc.
Winter 2010 Edition 9
Agriculture Plastics ....What to do with them???
• Agriculture Plastics Where can grain bags/twine be taken? Can they be burned? Is there an
Recycling Pilot Project
organization collecting them? These are all question being asked by the
agriculture sector. The use of grain bags as a means of temporary grain
• Chairman Report storage has become a hot topic throughout the province. Useage has
doubled in the past two years and many feel it will increase in the future.
• 2009 Annual General Why? An Ag Plastics Recycling Workshop was held in Saskatoon
Meeting Report on January 20, 2010. Government agencies, agriculture producers,
rural municipalities, private sector and various other interested parties
participated. Everyone agreed that useage is going to increase due to:
•Winner of the MJRWS
• Farms are getting
larger and in many
• Better Habitat For cases the land
Sprague’s Pipit is being rented.
Renters are not
willing to purchase
• Avonlea Lagoon bins for rented
Constucted Wetland land due to cost.
Project In many cases,
the renter doesn’t
necessarily know how long they will be renting the land.
• Using Distiller Grains
to Supplement Beef
Cattle • Cost of purchasing a grain bag is quite a bit less than a grain
• Agri-Environmental • Farm labor has always been a challenge. By storing the grain at
Group Plan the field location relieves labor requirements and allows the crop
to be harvested faster, especially if rain is in the forecast.
• By storing grain at the field there is a reduction in fuel costs and
less trucking back to the farmyard; saving time at harvest.
So what does this mean for the environment? We know
Clark’s Supply and
Service Ltd. burning is not an environmentally friendly best management practice.
Plastic is in a perfectly stable and non toxic form as is. Burning plastic
releases toxins into the air, soil, and surrounding water above and
below the surface. Fines can be issued for burning grain bags. The
other option is to ship it off to the landfill where it does not decompose.
Canada Waste The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards Inc. has partnered with
the Rural Municipality of Caledonia #99, Wascana Upper Qu’Appelle Watershed, Saskatchewan Ministry of
Agriculture, Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and Environment Canada to organize the 1st Agriculture
Plastics Collection Pilot Project to be held on March 11-12, 2010 at Milestone, Saskatchewan. This is a free
event allowing watershed residents to dispose of agriculture plastics in an environmentally friendly manner.
What is being collected?
• Clean off as much soil, mud, and grain as possible.
• Please roll plastic into a log-type form. Compact materials are easier to transport.
• Do NOT roll any foreign materials with the grain bag.
• Keep grain bags and twine separate, they will be sorted at time of collection.
• If possible store grain bags on wooden pallets to prevent freezing solid to the ground
• TWINE MUST BE BAGGED. Materials must be bagged to prevent tangling and store in a bag size
which can easily be handled. Barrel size bags such as mini bulk bags for example.
• “Shake It”- Try to shake off as much soil, hay, straw or any other foreign material as possible.
Excess materials are difficult to remove when recycling the plastic.
Materials NOT Accepted
• No Tires
• No Net Wrap (unknown resin types makes recycling
• No Silage Wrap
• No Feed Bags
• No Greenhouse Plastics
The pilot project is the starting point to developing an agriculture plastics recycling program for
producers. It is important that producers become part of the development process resulting in a
win-win program for everyone.
For more information on or a response to the Agriculture Plastics Recycling Pilot Project please feel
free to contact Tammy Myers at the Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards (306) 691-3399. We look
forward to hearing your input.
A Word from the Chairman...
This has definitely been a dynamic year for the watershed. In April 2009, the watershed received
core funding from the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority to aid with implementing our Source Water
Protection Plan. This was a huge asset to our organization. It has allowed us to work with urban and
rural communities on watershed awareness and to implement “projects on the ground.”
The watershed partnered with the Village of Avonlea to improve their lagoon system by developing a
bio-engineered constructed wetland as a means of treating effluent. This will be a first for Saskatch-
ewan. It will use natural vegetation at different elevations in the wetland to treat effluent prior to being
released into the Moose Jaw River during spring runoff. It is a project we feel many rural communi-
ties will be able to consider as an alternative for treatment. It will begin construction in spring 2010.
Our Agri-Environmental Group Plan has significant uptake when the Canada-Saskatchewan Farm
Stewardship Program opened in April 2009. It will continue for 2010 as well. Be sure to contact the
office if you need assistance on Farm Stewardship Project Funding.
This was Year 1 for our Agriculture Water Quality Monitoring Project. Water samples were taken from
the Madrid Conservation District Ditch, southeast of Moose Jaw, where approximately 20,000 acres of
cropland drains into the Moose Jaw River. Our goal was to see how much nutrient loading is entering
the Moose Jaw River from cropland during runoff. This project will continue for the next five years.
For information on this project, link to the watershed website. The results will be posted shortly.
This spring the Stewards will hold the 1st Agriculture Plastics Collection Day in Saskatchewan at
Milestone, SK on March 11-12, 2010. It’s a pilot project to collect grain bags and twine. I encourage
producers to hold onto their grain bags and twine for the collection day. In the past few months,
fines have been issued for burning grain bags. This has become a hot topic and it is important that
producers, environment and government work together to find a solution.
I wanted to note in my address the importance of water storage. Did you know that the Province
of Saskatchewan receives 50% of Alberta’s water and 50% of Saskatchewan’s water is released to
Manitoba? Saskatchewan uses a very small amount of the water from Alberta. It basically passes
through the province and into Manitoba. It would be beneficial for Saskatchewan to store some of
the water for future use and find a way to use it. Climate change has created a greater variance in
weather than we would like to see. A decrease in spring runoff over the past few years has decreased
water availability for livestock and household use. It seems you don’t think about water until you
don’t have it and then it is too late. I urge producers to keep on conserving water and hopefully this
year’s spring runoff will replenish dugouts and groundwater recharge that we so desperately need.
In closing, I would like to take this time to thank our employees, Corporate Sponsors and Urban
and Rural Municipalities. The watershed greatly appreciates the time and contribution you make to
our organization. To the Board of Directors, dedicating your time in today’s busy lifestyle is difficult
to do, I appreciate the time you have committed to monthly meetings and watershed activities. Your
input does not go unrecognized.
Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards Chairman
MJRWS Annual General Meeting Held in September, 2009
The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards Inc. held their third Annual General Meeting on September
16, 2009 at Wakamow Valley. 2009 was definitely a year of challenges and many successes.
Watershed Coordinator, Tammy Myers provided an in-depth review of the watershed activities and up-
coming initiatives including Environmental Awareness Day, City of Moose Jaw Art and Essay
Recycling Competition for Grades 5 & 6 students, Habitat Stewardship Projects for Species at Risk,
Youth Education, Agriculture Workshops, Agriculture Plastics Recycling Project and many more. All
activities were designed to address key actions outlined in the Source Water Protection Plan and
engage the public in recognizing the importance of protecting both ground and surface water in our
Bridget Andrews, the Agri-Environmental Group Plan Coodinator, addressed the new changes to the
Canada-Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Program for the 2009-2010 year. Working with agriculture
producers to provide technical support on “stewardship projects on the ground” was her main fo-
cus this past year. 128 projects were submitted to the Farm Stewardship for approximately $800,000.
Bob Wills representing Wakamow Valley presented on the
history and development of Wakamow Valley through the
years. Through funding, donations and organized events
Wakamow Valley has become sustainable and adds huge
aesthetic and recreation value to the City of Moose Jaw.
It is a beautiful park enjoyed by Moose Jaw residents and
The evening concluded with the presentation of the
Excellence in Stewardship Award. This year’s well deserved
recipients were the Environmental & Water Resource
Engineering Technology Students from SIAST-Palliser
Campus for their efforts to “clean up” Spring Creek in the Teresa Bomersbach & Dustin Pollock and their
SIAST students receive their Award
City of Moose Jaw. Congratulations on a job well done!
presented by Tammy Myers
Student Wins Art and Essay Recycling Contest
Ashlyn Froehlich, a 12 yr. old student form St. Michael’s
School won the Moose Jaw River Watershed Recycling
Poster Contest in December 2009. The competition was
a partnership with the Moose Jaw River Watershed and
the City of Moose Jaw to bring awareness and encourage
recycling at home. Approximately 100 Grade 5 and 6
students across Moose Jaw participated in the
competition with a laptop being the grand prize.
Ashlyn’s poster, “Recycle Around the World” stood out
from the other entries. It was very detailed, descriptive
and well illustrated. The entire recycling process was
captured with very few words. The Moose Jaw River
Watershed will be using this poster for future recycling
Ashlyn Froehlich displaying her Recycling Poster
Congratulations Ashlyn on a job well done! after Tammy Myers, MJRWS Coordinator presented
her with the grand prize, a laptop.
Better Habitat for Sprague’s make it easy for the cattle to choose which water source
to use. This allows the native grasses complete rest in
the early stages of growth and zero disturbances before
Pipit at Tugaske-Area Ranch allowing access in late summer.” Not only does this
By Claude-Jean Harel system give the native grasses the break they need to
(A publication of the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority take full advantage of their growing cycle while providing
Volume 27 Spring 2006) crucial nesting habitat for the Sprague’s Pipit, it also
gives Aitken’s cattle a dependable supply of clean water
John Aitken will tell you right away. “Sprague’s Pipit are to drink, reduces incidences of foot rot from animals
rather shy creatures. I have heard them. They are most standing in surface water for long periods, and more
often found in this pasture we have right on the edge of evenly distributes grazing pressure on the pastures.
Thunder Creek. But you pretty much have to flush them
out to see them. They tend to call when that happens.” To Aitken, the way producers look at the way land
and resources are used is changing. “We realize
Sprague’s Pipit is endemic to the North American now the complexity of the activities that go on in our
grasslands. Since the first specimen was discovered pastures. We graze our animals there, but there are
in 1843, the species has undergone severe population other creatures that need the same space for their
decline associated with the loss of prairies from life cycle as well. We need to share this space with
cultivation, overgrazing, and invasion by exotic plant them and if we have a system in place that helps us
species. Aitken is now quietly doing his share of work do that, the carrying-capacity of our pastures is just
to ensure that the Sprague’s Pipit has a fitting home going to get better for all those who share them.”
on his range. Aitken raises cattle in the Eyebrow area.
He is one of these folks who have known for years Western Wheat Grass (Agropyron smithii) is a perennial
about the value of native prairie, and is a previous grass that has shallow, creeping roots. Also referred
Native Prairie Steward who has had some good to as “bluejoint,” this grass is identifiable by its stiff
experiences with Burrowing Owl habitat preservation. blue-green leaves which attach to the stem at a 40
degree angle. A highly adaptable grass, it is especially
In 2003 he worked with the Saskatchewan common in low-lying areas on heavy alkaline or clay
Watershed Authority to set up a demonstration soils, but is also drought tolerant. Sprague’s Pipit
project that qualified for funding under populations reach their highest densities in the large
Government of Canada’s Habitat Stewardship native pastures of south-western Saskatchewan and
Program for Species at Risk. Aitken’s domain is a south-eastern Alberta. They prefer large tracts of native
2000-acre assortment of hay land and pasture where prairie, which typically are lightly or moderately grazed
he grazes cattle. Like most graziers, he’s always and have residual cover from the previous year’s
looking to use his resources as efficiently as possible. growing season. They make little use of tame pasture
or grassland that has been heavily invaded with brome
“Logic dictates that the best way of doing that is to grass. The species is listed as “threatened” by the
graze your tame forages, cool season grasses in the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in
early spring and summer and delay grazing on the warm Canada.
season grasses or native pastures until mid to late-
summer and even into the fall. This allows your warm
season grasses to grow and the birds to get through their
reproductive cycle before you disturb these pastures.”
The main challenge for John Aitken was his reliance
on surface water to ensure his cattle had enough to
drink, especially by the end of the summer and when
water can get a little scarce. “We implemented a water
development/pipeline project on one square section
of native prairie. We fenced out a couple of parcels
of tame grass, and we ran a plastic pipe right from
the well in our yard to a distance three miles long.”
Aitken placed the taps from the pipeline in a manner that
allows him to separate his tame and native forages and
optimize his grazing management. “The way we set it
up allows us to limit grazing to the tame grasses early in
the grazing season. The pipeline allows the animals to
drink without having to tramp across the native prairie to
access water. We have these big troughs that we move
from tap to tap and pasture to pasture. The troughs
A Natural Approach to the water quality in the Shell River.
It is predicted this project will decrease operating
Treating Effluent in Avonlea costs and the effluent quality is predicted to be
better than that of a two cell lagoon.
It is no front page news that many urban and rural
municipalities discharge sewage effluent into a
The concept of using constructed wetlands for
local water way every spring and fall. This is a
effluent treatment has been around for many years.
common practise for the City of Moose Jaw and
The United States and Europe have adopted this
villages and towns along the Moose Jaw River - it’s
treatment process quickly. In Canada, the uptake
a major source of nutrient loading. Sewage must
has been slower due to cold winter temperature.
be treated to a provincial standard prior to being
However, through extensive research it has been
discharged down a river course. However, did you
found that wetlands perform slightly better in cold
know that same river course is where your drinking
conditions than warm (Kadlec and Knight, 2008).
water comes from, even though it’s treated.
The success has been our partners - Village of
It was approximately one year ago that the Village
Avonlea, Agri-Environmental Services Branch,
of Avonlea and the Moose Jaw River Watershed
Lower Souris River Watershed, Building Canada
Stewards became partners to construct a bio-
Infrastructure Funding, Farm Credit Canada, TD
engineered constructed wetland to treat Avonlea’s
Friends of the Environment and the Saskatchewan
effluent. They currently uses a single cell lagoon
Watershed Authority. Without the support of these
system. The effluent is discharged from the cell into
organizations, this project would not have been
an intermittent stream that connects to man - made
ditches in the Regina Plains. 13 miles north of the
lagoon, during spring runoff, the water discharges
We commend the Village of Avonlea for supporting
into the Moose Jaw River.
this innovative technology and recognizing the
importance of protecting source water. This a
A constructed wetland utilizes natural vegetation
“community-based” project, meaning citizen
such as cattails and bulrushes to treat effluent
engagement is sought through key stages of project
and remove pollutants from the water. There are
planning, design, assessment and permitting
different elevations within the wetland so effluent
stages. This project will be an example for other
can gravity flow through the vegetation prior to
rural communities to follow that will be leaving an
being released into the stream. In many cases,
environmental footprint we can all live with.
the treated effluent never gets to the stream due to
evaporation or the vegetation utilizes all the water.
For more information on this project please feel
The majority of the time, the treated effluent being
free to contact the Moose Jaw River Watershed
released into the stream is of better water quality
Stewards at (306) 691-3396 or the Village of Avonlea
that exists in the receiving waters. The Town of
at (306) 868-2221.
Roblin, Manitoba experienced this first hand where
the treated effluent being released was better than
Example of the Construction Stage
An example of
in a City
A Cross Section Diagram of a Constructed Wetland
Research Roundup: Supplementing beef cows grazing barley
strawchaff with dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS)
A. Van De Kerckhove, Dept. of Animal & Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan,
Dr. H. A. Lardner, Western Beef Development Centre
Although of lower economic value, the relative abundance of cereal crop residue in Western Canada
dictates its potential for use in beef cow feeding programs, particularly to reduce winter feeding costs
(McCartney et al. 2006). The characteristic high fibre, low protein content of crop residue requires
supplementation to meet the nutritional requirements of the cow and to prevent impaction (Mathis et
As the ethanol industry continues to scale up production, wheat-based distillers’ co-products, such
as dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS), are becoming readily available in Western Canada.
DDGS has potential as both a protein and energy supplement due to its high nutrient density. A two
year study was conducted at the Termuende Research Ranch to determine the effects of supplemen-
tation on beef cow performance and further evaluate production costs for cows supplemented with
either DDGS, barley grain, or a blend (50:50) of DDGS and barley while grazing barley crop residue.
Forty-eight dry, pregnant Black Angus cows (BW = 1390 ± 25 lbs; BCS 2.7 ± 0.15) were extensively
managed on barley straw-chaff piles (44.1% TDN; 8.4% CP; 77.5% NDF) during the winter periods of
2007 and 2008. Access to barley straw-chaff piles was controlled using electric fence and feed was
allocated on a 3-day basis. Cows were stratified by body weight and pregnancy status and randomly
assigned to 1 of 3 supplement strategies which included (i) 100% DDGS, (ii) a blend (50% DDGS:50%
barley grain; or (iii) 100% barley grain (Control). Supplements fed to meet energy requirements at 0.6%
BW and fed daily to minimize digestive upsets. Additionally, a medium quality hay (48.7% TDN; 7.4%
CP; 67.3% NDF) was supplied when environmental conditions became extremely severe. Cows were
weighed, body condition scored, and ultrasonically measured for rib and rump fat depth at the begin-
ning and end of the trial to evaluate changes in animal performance.
Results indicated that cows supplemented with either 100% DDGS or a 50:50 blend of DDGS and
barley gained 25 or 15 pounds, respectively. In contrast, cows supplemented with 100% barley gain
lost 14 pounds over the course of the trial. Cow condition was not different between supplement treat-
ment groups. However, moderate improvement in body condition and fat was observed for the DDGS
or 50:50 blend supplemented cows, with no observed difference in condition for the barley supple-
mented (control) cows.
DDGS and barley grain was priced at $157 and $215 per tonne, respectively (averaged 2007
and 2008 prices). Total production costs for cows supplemented with either DDGS, 50:50 blend
of DDGS and barley, and barley were $0.70, $0.80, and $0.81 per head per day, respectively.
Based on these results, supplement choice will be dictated by current market value of the supple-
ments relative to each other. Cow body weight gain was greater when DDGS was substituted for rolled
barley grain on a one for one unit basis. This is likely due to the greater nutrient (energy and protein)
density of the DDGS. These results suggest DDGS can be used effectively as a supplement in exten-
sive wintering systems to meet nutrient requirements with no negative effects on cow performance.
Mathis, C. P., Cochran, R. C., Stokka, G. L., Heldt, J. S., Woods, B. C. and Olson,K. C. 1999. Impacts of increasing amounts
of supplemental soybean meal on intake and digestion by beef steers and performance by beef cows consuming low-quali-
ty tallgrass prairie forage. J. Anim Sci. 77: 3156-3162.
McCartney, D. H., Block, H. C., Dubeskj, P. L. and Ohama, A. J. 2006. The composition and availability of straw and chaff
from small grain cereals for beef cattle in Western Canada. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 86: 443-455.
Moose Jaw River
Watershed Stewards Inc.
Calendar of Events
Moose Jaw River Watershed
MJRWS Livestock Conference
Moose Jaw, SK
Agri-Environmental Group Plan
The Agri-Environmental Group Plan (AEGP) is a complementary program to the
Mar. 2/10 Environmental Farm Planning process. The AEGP process differs from the EFP
Carbon Footprint Symposium since it is based on the geographic area of the Moose Jaw River Watershed and
specifically targets water quality issues.
Sask. Economic Development
Through the group plan, producers are able to access funding at a 30-75% cost
Mar. 3/10 share on the following Beneficial Management Practises (BMP’S):
Forages on Your Farm-Back to Basics
Elbow, SK Improved Livestock Site Management
Ag. Knowledge Centre Relocation of Livestock Confinement Facilities
Fencing to Protect the Environment
Mar. 4/10 Fencing to Protect Big Game Damage
Ducks Unlimited Open House Utilizing Portable Windbreaks and Shelters
Ceylon, SK Remote Water Systems
Contact Daryl Nazar Farm Yard Run Off Control
Improved Manure Management
Mar. 8-11/10 Manure Storage Improvements
SARM Convention, Manure Storage Increases
Regina, SK Manure Application Equipment and Technologies
Manure Nutrient Planning
Cost of Production Workshop For More Information
Moose Jaw, SK Improved Land Management on the Group Plan
Modifying and Revegetating Waterways
Contact Bridget Andrews
Mar. 11-12/10 Planting Vegetation to Protect Riparian Areas
Improved Stream and Creek Crossings Moose Jaw River Watershed
Ag. Plastics Collection Day
Milestone, SK Protecting Marginal High Risk Soils (306) 691-3396
Shelter Belt Establishment
Sask. Pasture School Water Well Management
Saskatoon, SK Decommissioning Wells and Protecting Existing Wells
Sask. Forage Council
The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards Inc. takes pride in working with local communities, landowners and
partner agencies to improve water quality and quantity within the watershed. We can assist with projects to
demonstrate beneficial managment practices in the Moose Jaw River Watershed. If you would like to know more
about how to be involved or require more information on our organization please contact:
Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards Inc.
Box 1682 Moose Jaw, SK S6H 7K7
Tammy Myers or Bridget Andrews
office at (306)-691-3396 or (306) 691-3399
For a list of our calendar of events visit our website at www.mjriver.ca