The Smoky Lake County Agricultural Services Board has reviewed and revised the Flood and Beaver control program as per Policy Statement # 62-07 and # 62-21.
Owners or renters of agricultural land which is being flooded by beavers can be compensated $15.00/ tail providing the problem area has been verified by the Agricultural Fieldman and the application form is completed.
The ASB will still be offering the service of beaver dam removal in areas where agricultural land is being flooded. The fee for this service is $100.00 per parcel of land, which entitles you to one visit from ASB staff plus $50.00 per stick of dynamite. Please give ASB staff one week notice to coordinate blasting operations.
Producing livestock in the Boreal Region has many challenges and coyote predation is one of them. There are several management practices that agricultural producers can use to limit or eliminate the losses caused by predation. There are a few cost effective management practices that can help to eliminate predation before it starts and thereby keeping more money in your pocket. Dead livestock, still born young and afterbirth attract coyotes and other predators. It is important to have a management plan for the proper disposal of your waste materials. If an on farm bury pit is your choice of carcass disposal, it should be two meters deep, cover the dead animals with lime and then cover with soil. This should help deter the presence of some predators.
There are management practices that can help control predation while calving your cows. Some of these are;
- Maintain regular surveillance during calving season, especially with first calf heifers, and animals known to have trouble birthing.
- Avoid placement of pregnant cows in bush pastures. Bringing the cattle close to home and keeping a close eye on them is one of the most effective tools in preventing coyote predation.
- Sick newborns are the most vulnerable, and healthy cows are more likely to produce healthy calves. Cows that are borderline deficient in copper, selenium and vitamins A and E can have weaker calves. Therefore, cows should have a complete trace mineral supplement that includes vitamins. Also, injecting the calves with vitamin A, D and E, as well as selenium will promote herd health.
- Maintain fences to prevent young calves from wandering outside of calving areas and away from the protection of their mothers.
Shooting and trapping are other options to use in your overall management plan. Landholders can shoot coyotes on their land or authorize a resident to do so throughout the year. Keep in mind that Federal Gun Legislation must be followed at all times.
During the fur season, a landholder may obtain a resident trapper’s license from Alberta Fish and Wildlife or provide written authority to another resident who holds a trappers license to trap or snare coyotes on his property. However first time trappers may have to successfully complete a trapping course. For information on hunting and trapping regulations please contact your local fish and wildlife office.
For more information on livestock predation issues please contact the Smoky Lake County Agricultural Services Board @ (780) 656-3730
Ground Squirrels / Gopher
2% Liquid Strychnine Concentrate is fully registered for 2015. It will be available to agricultural producers who have a “severe infestation” of Richardson Ground Squirrels. (A severe infestation is defined as: population of RGS is 1 hole per 4 strides walking or 20% crop damage in a 100m strip of crop).
The cost of Liquid Strychnine will be $7.00 per bottle and will be available through the County’s ASB staff.