News Flash

Red Deer County News

Posted on: September 10, 2018

Can ALUS make rain fall & grass grow?

ALUS (3)

You bet!...well, kind of...

It has been a relatively dry year in Red Deer County. The latest precipitation map I saw from Alberta Agriculture (up to Aug. 1) showed most of Red Deer County being in either the “low” to “very low” categories, with some areas in the “extremely low” category, comparing this year’s rainfall to the long term normal rainfall. Many of the producers I know have mentioned that rain has generally not been that cooperative this year.

This makes this year, a great year for ALUS to make rain fall and grass grow…well…kind of.

Of course, a program can’t make rain fall or grass grow. But, what a program like ALUS can do, is help you adopt management practices that helps your land capture the maximum amount of rain that falls, so that your grass can grow to its best potential.

A healthy pasture tends to have the following characteristics:
- Dense cover of growing plants, often in multiple layers
- Plants with deep, dense roots
- A good thatch layer
- Soil with higher organic matter levels and higher porosity
- All these characteristics, helps reduce water evaporation and run-off from the land surface, helps the land store more of the water for a longer time, and helps the plants access that water.

Changes in how you manage your pastures, can impact the characteristics listed above. And ALUS can help pay for the costs of infrastructure needed to adopt new management practices.

This infrastructure can be things like fencing, alternative watering systems, alternative shelter, converting marginal crop land to permanent forage and more. The ALUS Program can cover as much as 85 per cent of these costs. On top of that, the ALUS Program can pay you as much as $40 per acre per year, for the acres involved.

To find out more about how ALUS can help you adopt practices that allows your land to capture and use the rainfall we do get, please contact me anytime at 403.505.9038 or klewis@rdcounty.ca, and/or visit www.alus.ca.

ALUS and Grass 2015 pic

An ALUS Project in Red Deer County, shows how the use of fencing and an alternative watering system to adopt new grazing management strategies, can help make the grass grow. The first picture was the year the project started, while the second picture (taken at the same spot) is this year. This stockpile of forage can be used in a drier year or a drier time of the year by the producer.
ALUS and Grass 2018 pic

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