Ag News & Events

List of Upcoming Events and Products

Farm Rental Rates Survey Deadline: May 31, 2023
  • We are collecting data on farm rental rates, this is being done with the intentions to report what is being charged, not what should be charged. Once completed this data will be available to the public to allow for a better understanding of area rates for producers and landowners in Clearwater County. 
  • Click here to complete the.
2023 Annual Weed Workshops: May 31 & June 7, 2023
  • Join us for our annual weed workshops! There will be two opportunities to attend, and attendees are eligible for 10% off range and pasture herbicides!
  • Workshop #1:  Wednesday, May 31, 2023 @ 5:30 - 7:30 PM
  • Workshop #2: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 @ 5:30 - 7:30 PM
  • The workshops are free, and a roast beef dinner is provided. To attend this workshop, please register:
Shelterbelt & Eco-Buffer Workshop: June 12, 2023
  • Hosted by Clearwater County & Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES), join us for a shelterbelt and eco-buffer workshop!
  • This workshop will take place at the County's North Quarter (demo quarter) June 12, 2023.
  • The workshop will begin at 11am with a eco-buffer/shelterbelt presentation followed by a question and answer period. At 12pm lunch will be provided, and then at 1pm live demonstrations will begin until approximately 3pm.
  • Click here to register.
Conifer Tree Seedling Program Deadline: June 16, 2023
  • White spruce and lodgepole pine seedlings are available for purchase/ planting in Clearwater County. 
  • Seedlings arrive mid-July ready to plant. 
  • Application forms available here. Order deadline is June 16, 2023.
Verbenone Repellent Pouch – to deter Mountain Pine Beetle attackLimited supply of pouches are available and sold in packages of 10 at a cost of $60.00+GST. Click here to learn more.
Recreation Grant Funding: Apply before June 1, 2023
  • Funding available for North Saskatchewan & Raven Recreation Area! 
  • Recreational organizations and groups that fall within the boundaries of the North Saskatchewan and Raven Recreation Areas are eligible for assistance with funding for small projects and programming. 
  • Examples of qualifying projects would be shale for ball diamonds, boards for ice rinks, playground equipment updates, etc. 
  • The second grant deadline is June 1, 2023. Click here to learn more and submit an application today!
Caring for My Land funding Program (C4ML) 
  • The C4ML program offers 25%-75% funding – up to $5000 - through Alberta Environment and Parks Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program and EPCORE. 
  • To learn more, click here or contact us at 403-846-4040 /
Join the Landcare email list:
  •  Are you interested in grant programs and new funding opportunities, virtual events, workshops, webinars, and receiving educational articles or video links relating to healthy and sustainable water and land? 
  • Send an email to to be subscribed!

Most Recent Ag News Article

May 24, 2023 -  Ponder this... not all farm dugouts are equal

There are essentially two types of dugouts – surface water or groundwater fed.  In some cases, a combination provides livestock water.  West of the 5th it is rarely just surface water captured.

Surface-fed design criteria is important.  Slopes are not only designed for safety but also for stability against erosion.  Location is important to maximize snow melt or rainwater capture.  The inlet and outlet of surface fed dugouts are designed to minimize erosion from fast moving water.  Depth is critical to ensure – ideally – a two year supply.

Groundwater fed has unique criteria.  The intent is to protect the groundwater source which may influence nearby shallow water wells.  The dugout in this case employs a berm to protect the dugout from surface water contamination especially if the area around the dugout has contaminants (manure) that compromise water quality.

Quality of water, in both cases, depends on other externals like proximity to winter bedding areas or corrals, and residual pesticide in runoff which is especially a concern if a dugout is used for horticulture or arboriculture.  Even sediment degrades water quality if eroded topsoil enters the dugout.  

Maintaining deep rooted grassed waterways helps with slope erosion.  Dugout fencing keeps livestock out of the water source.   Keeping bedding areas and corrals downslope of dugouts is essential.  Even the soil removed when a dugout is excavated is kept at a distance and well vegetated to guard against sedimentation. 

Occasionally the soil profile does not allow for a dugout to hold water adequately if at all.  Once excavated the hole may require clay to be packed to create an earthen liner or in other cases a man-made poly liner needs to be considered.

Even the best made dugouts can be subject to unwanted growth that degrades water quality or may even be toxic.  Algae is a big concern and even a large surface area dugout does not necessarily allow enough wind action to keep a pond clear.  The best advice is aerate, aerate, aerate.  Circulating water using wind or solar power is a good option.

Snow capture is a consideration in any year but especially in a winter when snow is scarce.   Planting woody vegetation or using existing stands of trees to capture snow is wise.  On average snow somewhere between light fluffy and heavy wet amounts to about 1 gallon per cubic foot.  That can really add up in a snowdrift!

There are varying options for distributing the water but the common thread is to pump it out to the cattle rather than allowing the cattle direct access.   Conventional power or alternative energy are methods.  Wet wells adjacent to the dugout may become the pump out source especially for a winter-friendly system. With today’s science and technology, there is no reason to allow livestock free run of the dugout itself. 

Livestock safety in winter should not be taken lightly.  There are cases where a hole chopped in dugout ice is an invitation to a watery grave.  It is best to pump the water out to the livestock.  Plus there is no manure on the ice to compromise the water quality.

The key message is livestock perform better with better quality water.  Weight gains are greater, herd health is maximized and an ever increasing public awareness of livestock welfare and food quality is better satisfied.

There are considerations related to the Water Act in Alberta.  This is Provincial government oversight and worth checking before digging a dugout, expanding an existing source, or if considering the pond for other uses (fish).  Full information is available through Alberta Environment and Parks.  

The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (S-CAP) Program has potential funding for farm dugouts and wells. Start with a call to 310-FARM and ask to speak with a Water Specialist to get started. While the application process can be completed by the farmer Ag Services and Landcare staff may be able to provide direction and coach through the paperwork.