Post-secondary education, irrigation projects, and more: an issues update with Sask Ag Minister David Marit

It’s a bit early to see what the impacts of the recent frost are on crops in Saskatchewan but for the most part, David Marit, minister of agriculture in Saskatchewan, says the crop is either ripe, in a swath, or being straight cut. As of last week, 28 per cent of the crop was harvested, and due to the frost, only a few days of combining was lost.

Marit recently joined RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney to discuss a variety of agriculture-related issues that are impacting Saskatchewan.

One topic of discussion was post-secondary agriculture students going back to school and the challenges both students and institutions face in adapting to online learning, in-person learning with restrictions, or a blend of the two. Learning agricultural skills is often so hands-on that it’s an added challenge.

“We really have to commend the universities for moving forward on virtual classrooms and how they’re doing it and everybody in light of the situation going on, especially in agriculture, for a lot of it, there’s a lot of hands-on learning,” says Marit.

A substantial irrigation project is being funded in Saskatchewan, and Marit says the province is getting closer to selecting a consultant to do preliminary design work. The federal government might also become player, as this is a major project for not only Saskatchewan, but also Canada, as the new irrigated acres could support more speciality crops and value-added processing.

“We’ve heard from just about all the farm organizations here in the province that they really welcome this project and see the opportunity for increased value-added, increased agriculture production, and obviously long-term sustainability in a big area with water,” says Marit.

Listen to the full interview to hear Marit’s thoughts on business risk management programs reform, COVID-19’s effect on Saskatchewan ag processing, and the cattle set-aside program’s progress.

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