Why are we Researching this?

In Saskatchewan, wetlands represent one of the most ecologically important water bodies. They are major hotspots for biodiversity and provide numerous ecosystem and cropland functions including flood control, sediment trapping, ground water recharge, water purification, soil production and erosion prevention, and nutrient retention. But wetlands present challenges for producers from salinity seep and yield losses and are often degraded by agricultural activities such as drainage and pesticide use.  Many producers have areas next to wetlands as well also other areas in the field that are unproductive or marginal and we are trying to find ways to better manage the wetlands and marginal areas in order to design incentive programs for improving sustainable farm production.

What are the Project Goals?

  • To compare different field management practices that may mitigate pesticide use, wetland contamination, and enhance farmland biodiversity
  • To evaluate crop productivity and economic costs of management practices to support sustainable farm planning and incentive program development

What does a Producer need to do?

  • Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan will work with SK conventional grain producers to identify suitable fields that are in canola-cereal rotation and that have A) wetlands or B) marginal areas for their study.
  • Each producer will select 1 treatment (A or B) and work with agronomists to develop a sketch map to convert 10-25% of the field area to perennial forages. This will be replicated in 3 separate fields containing wetlands or marginal areas.
  • Each experimental field will be matched to a Business as Usual (BAU) field for a total of 6 fields in the study (3 manipulated, 3 unmanipulated).
  • The treatments will be monitored to assess effects on water quality, soil health, biodiversity, crop yields, input costs and profitability.
  • We ask that producers do the seeding and management of these areas and maintain them in grass for a minimum of 2 years (hopefully longer!)

Figure 1: Study design scheme to test 2 farm management practices to replace 10-25% of crop with perennial forages either A) adjacent to wetlands or B) in marginal areas. Each treatment field is matched to a Business as Usual field (BAU) to study the effects on water quality, biodiversity, crop yields and economics.

Is there Compensation and how can I sign up?

Yes. Producer agronomic support and compensation of $75/ converted acre will be provided throughout the study.  We will ask that you fill out the Survey monkey questionnaire about your farm to see if you are eligible (1 minute).

For further information, feel free to get in touch by email:

April Stainsby 778 266 3976

Christy Morrissey 306 966 4433