Top Crop Manager

Machinery News Equipment
Infrastructure investment boosts agricultural research capacity

January 24, 2024  By Top Crop Manager

New equipment is expanding the scope of crop research in Yorkton, Sask., where Suncrest College operates a research farm in partnership with the East Central Research Foundation (ECRF).

The college received $60,400 from the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) Accelerating Capacity Initiative and used the funds to construct a sample dryer and purchase a truck and weigh wagon.

“The equipment has actually expanded the type and number of trials we can do,” says Blair Cherneski, ECRF chairperson and Goodeve area farmer. “The funding is a major plus for the research farm and since it benefits research, it benefits local producers.”


Mike Hall, ECRF research coordinator, explains that a shipping container was purchased to build the sample dryer. It was filled with perforated shelves and attached to a garden shed that houses an electric furnace. The dryer works when the furnace blows air through tubing that is installed under the shelves.

“It’s been a great addition because we now have the capacity to dry a lot of plant material,” he says. “The dryer allows us to participate in a wider array of projects, including forage projects, and this year we have been using it to dry down tissue samples from grain crop projects as well.”

Hall’s team previously relied on dryers at other Agriculture Applied Research Management (AgriARM) sites in Saskatchewan. Now, they can dry samples in a timelier manner which has eliminated the risk of plant material starting to rot in transit.

The new truck is being used for hauling equipment and completing field work. The weigh wagon is making field-scale plot work more efficient.


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