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Agricultural Services

Mission

Key functions of this department include: liaising with the Agriculture Service Board (ASB), controlling restricted/noxious weeds on public and private lands, roadside mowing and weed spraying programs, and water and soil quality management activities.

The Agricultural Service Board is committed to promoting quality of life in our rural environment by providing services, information and new technology (in liaison with other governments, jurisdictions, agencies and industry) by establishing policy that insures statutory requirements and the collective interests of clients are met. Several key pieces of provincial government legislation that are enforced are the Weed Control Act; the Agricultural Service Board Act; the Soil Conservation Act; the Agricultural Pests Act and the Agricultural Chemicals Act.  The board receives a portion of its funding from the provincial government for carrying out these acts within Lethbridge County.  The board also rents specific equipment to citizens and carries out mowing, spraying and seeding programs for industry, landowners, other County departments and a number of playgrounds and parks in the County.  Vegetation control in the County on road right-of-ways along with weed inspection on private land are a large portion of the duties carried out.  Hamlet and subdivision mowing along with a farm Shelterbelt program are also offered for citizens.

If you would like more information regarding Agricultural Services for the County, please contact:

Gary Secrist
Supervisor of Agriculture Services
Email

Agricultural Services Board

For ASB meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and briefs click the link: ASB Meetings

Agricultural Services Newsletters

Please visit the document section at the bottom of the page for all newsletters.


Agricultural Services, News, and Events

Click the links for more information:

  • The provincial Elm pruning ban began April 1, 2020. Please visit the Government of Alberta website for more information.

Functions & Links

Click the links for more information:


Agricultural Services - Maintenance

The Agricultural Services Department regularly puts together short informational posters with agriculture topics and tips for producers.

Click the link to view:

Roadside spraying is a necessary component of ASB operations in order to control the growth of noxious and prohibited noxious weeds on County right of ways to ensure our compliance with the Alberta Weed Control Act. Two boom mounted three ton trucks are utilized to blanket spray approximately 1150 kilometers of right of way and spot spray another 2300 kilometers of right of way each year. Land owners may enter into a “No Spray Zone” agreement with Lethbridge County if they do not wish to have the right of way adjacent to their property sprayed.  For more information on no-spray agreements, please call Agricultural Services at (403) 732-5333.

Producers wishing to rent or borrow equipment can call the Agricultural Services at (403) 732-5333.

For Rent (includes delivery and pick up):

  • 2x8 foot Brillion drills (appropriate for seeding grass and Alfalfa on land that has been previously worked)
  • 2X2016 Model Year- 8 Foot Brillion Drills
  • Bale Processor for Soil Conservation
  • 8 Foot straw crimper for Soil Conservation
    *Please call for current rental prices.

To Lend:

Chisel Plow with Lister shovels for emergency soil conservation
Tree Planter for seedlings
Plastic Mulcher for seedlings or strawberries (does not include mulch)
2XGallagher RFID Tag readers
Magpie Traps
Skunk Traps
Kirchner Ag Plastics roller for grain bags or silage plastic

The Agriculture Service Board is mandated by the Alberta Soil Conservation Act to “prevent the loss or deterioration of soil from taking place.” 

Cycles of freezing and thawing throughout the winter and periods of high winds make our soil very susceptible to erosion. In the event of erosion taking place the ASB has equipment such as a bale processor, straw crimper, chisel plow equipped with Lister shovels, and heavy equipment with rippers available to assist landowners.

To learn more about preventing soil erosion and renting equipment to assist with erosion issues, call Agricultural Services at (403) 732-5333.

The Pest Control program involves a wide variety of activities, including providing information and equipment to landowners for the control of problem skunks, raccoons, magpies and coyotes.  All Norway rat sightings and suspected rabies infected animals are investigated and dealt with in cooperation with the appropriate government departments.  Surveys for pests such as grasshopper, wheat stem sawfly, bacterial ringrot, Bertha armyworm, clubroot and fusarium graminearum are also conducted by staff as directed by Alberta Agriculture and the ASB.  Information on the Alberta Fusarium and Alberta Clubroot Management Plans can be accessed by going to the following links:

A weed inspector is employed year round and carriess out inspections during the growing season for noxious and prohibited noxious weeds on all public and private lands within Lethbridge County (not including cities and towns unless appointed).  During the winter season the inspector collects seed samples and conducts inspections for licensing all seed cleaning plants operating within County boundaries as required under the Weed Control Act.  View the following links:

Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a serious fungal disease of cereal crops that affects kernel development.  The main cause of FHB is the fungus Fusarium graminearum, which results in significant losses in grain yield and grain quality, and triggers the production of mycotoxins. (Source: Government of Alberta- https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-fusarium-graminearum-management-plan.aspx)

Click on the links below to learn more about Fusarium and view Fusarium Management Plans:

  • Fusarium
  • Identify Fusarium
  • Feed Grains, Straw and Grass Hay
    • Importers of feed grains, straw and grass hay from out of Province are encouraged to only import commodities that have been tested and have a negative lab analysis for Fusarium graminearum.   Imported feed grains that are stockpiled on the ground uncovered and not certified Fusarium free will be sampled and tested by County Pest Control Inspectors.  If a positive test is confirmed, the grain will be disposed of as outlined in Alberta's Fusarium Best Management Plan.  Imported straw and grass hay testing positive for Fusarium will also be disposed of according to the Best Management Plan.  Imported feed grain must be unloaded in such a manner that spillage does not occur.  Spills must be cleaned up immediately and put into the feeding rations or composted.  For more information or to report a roadside grain spill call Agricultural Services at (403) 732-5333.
  • Cereal Grain Cleaned for Seed:
    • All lots of cereal grain being cleaned for seed will require a negative lab analysis for Fusarium graminearum before the lot will be accepted for cleaning.  Lethbridge County has made arrangements with Seed Check Technologies (Leduc) to pick up cereal grain samples at the Picture Butte Administration Shop on a regular basis.  Turnaround time is estimated at 10 days. Results will be sent directly to the producer from the lab.

      Samples can be submitted by contacting the Agricultural Services department at (403) 732-5333.  There is a lab fee of $37.00 plus G.S.T. per sample.  Samples should be approximately 1 lb. in weight and in a sealed plastic bag.  Labels can be filled out when the samples are dropped off.

      Producers who do not wish to use this service or require more information on Fusarium graminearum, or a list of other labs in the province can visit http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca.


The mowing program involves mowing of 1700 kilometers of gravel roads (at least three meters on each side) and 200 kilometers of paved and cold mix roads (four meters pn each side).  Mowing is necessary to assist graders in maintaining shoulders, reduce snow from drifting on roads and to increase line of sight at intersections and approaches.  All hamlets, subdivisions and cemeteries within the County are also mowed for aesthetics and weed control.