About the Location
Millie Community Pasture Demonstration site is located approximately 60 kilometres northeast of Maple Creek, in the rural municipality of Piapot. This site resides in the Mixed Grassland Ecoregion of Saskatchewan, encompassing the southwestern portion of the province with the exception of the Cypress Upland region that is the Cypress Hills. The Mixed Grassland ecoregion forms part of the short grass prairie of the Great Plains of North America and is well suited to ranching purposes where livestock can utilize plant biomass for productivity and growth. The native grasses of the Millie Community pasture are short and mid-sized grasses and sedges, including needle-and-thread, western wheatgrass, and prairie junegrass. The driest and most heavily grazed areas are dominated by blue grama and blunt sedges. Trees in this region are sparse but include trembling aspen, eastern cottonwood and wolf-willow. A variety of shrubs are present however, including hoary sagebrush and wild rose.
This site boasts many semi permanent water sources as well as two larger saline waterbodies, which would be accompanied by corresponding Solonetzic soils. Low areas and coulees are filled with trees and shrubs, offering snow catch opportunities and shelter for livestock. This ecoregion is semi-arid, with less snow cover compared to other areas of the province. The average annual precipitation ranges from 240 to 350 millimetres, increasing slightly in the eastern portion of the ecoregion. Temperature averages are 16⁰C for the summer months and -10⁰C throughout the winter. The Millie Community pasture is located on dark brown chernozemic soils, typical organic matter for these soils range from three to five percent OM which plays an active role in carbon sequestration in this ecoregion.
The Rotational Grazing Objective
This project aims to introduce legumes in the southwest light brown soil zone, in an established crested wheat grass stand.
University of Saskatchewan. 2008. Virtual Herbarium of Plants at Risk in Saskatchewan: A Natural Heritage.
Nature Conservancy of Canada. 2019. Ecoregional summary – Mixed Grassland.
The site was seeded on May 3, 2023. Fencing installation was completed May 10 to 12, 2023. Water installation was pre-existing.
this demo site is located on Ministry of Agriculture land, surrounded by WHPA lands and protected Sandhills ecosystem.
Pasture employees to install cross fence and pick up seed, custom seeder requested preperations April 23 and 26, contacted Ponderosa Ag Sales and they ordered seed.
Funding for this project [in part] has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund.