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Make service requests online

Attention all rural Flagstaff County and hamlet landowners: Got a service request, such as a sewer or road issue?

You can report it online through our website by clicking HERE.

public report

Public Works Updates

Stockpiling

Crews are stockpiling at the Daysland Stockpile Site, located south of Highway 13 on Range Road 170. Please use caution as gravel trucks will be turning onto and off of the highway.

Multiple Load Road Use Agreements

All individuals and companies hauling more than ten (10) loads per day on Flagstaff County roads are required to procure a Multiple Load Road Use Agreement through RoaData Services Ltd. For more information, please click HERE.

(Note: Please keep in mind that our seasonal crews will be out working on our roadways and to use extreme caution while travelling on these roads while they are being maintained in any way. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. Also keep in mind that projects may be delayed due to wet weather.)

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Between the roots

Grow your knowledge about all things agricultural in Flagstaff County!

Newspaper Columns

Look for Nick’s column in the print edition of The Community Press. Past columns are archived below.

Social Media Guidelines

social media

From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Instagram, Flagstaff County takes pride in having a strong and engaging social media presence. The various platforms have proven to be very effective for sharing information of public interest with our residents, businesses and visitors. We also value the opportunity for the two-way dialogue that social media sites provide.

While these are all open forums, they are also family-friendly and we ask that you follow our general posting guidelines.

  • The County reserves the right to remove any comments or posts that contain vulgar language, personal attacks of any kind, or that is deemed discriminatory, slanderous or obscene.
  • Comments and posts should reflect the topic or subject.
  • We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization.
  • We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity.
  • We reserve the right to delete comments that are spam or include links to other sites.
  • You agree to participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided.

Those violating these guidelines will have their access to these social media sites removed.

Building Community: Funding

It takes investment to build community. Flagstaff County — the “Community of communities” — contributed more than $6 million last year in support of a variety of activities and services.

Here is a breakdown of regional funding the County provided in 2023.

Click below for County funding in previous years:

What’s on your Roots

By Nick Dunn

Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease that can’t be taken lightly; it is classified as a pest under the Alberta Agricultural Pests Act. Negligence is no way to overcome it.

Within the Alberta Clubroot Management Plan, it is the Flagstaff County Agriculture Service Board’s responsibility to conduct annual surveys to monitor the spread and resistance breakdown of clubroot. Here in Flagstaff, we are a major producer of canola, and we rely heavily on the broadleaf to fit within our crop rotations. Each year, we will conduct a survey with appointed pest inspectors throughout all 48 townships in the County. These surveys consist of four fields in each township selected at random and are surveyed with methods approved from the Alberta Clubroot Management Plan. Test samples are sent to a lab for clubroot pathogen DNA testing. If a clubroot sample is found positive, the landowner will be notified by the Agricultural Fieldman through a Notice to Control Pests and all adjacent landowners will be notified of the infestation as well. The main restriction within the notice is that the producer must keep the infected field free from brassica family plants due to their host ability. This includes mustard, cabbage family vegetables, and even some weeds that can be a host such as stinkweed and shepherd’s purse.

The original source of clubroot is unknown. During the 1970s, in the Edmonton area, the disease was first identified within small gardens, and in 2003, everything changed. It was reported that the first field of clubroot was detected in Sturgeon County, and this proved that we had failed to implement the best management practices right from the start. It has since evolved and spread, making an economic impact on our mustard production system, affecting the yield, quality and in extreme cases, causing crop loss.

Clubroot is spread through resting spores within the soil; on a single lateral canola root, one gall can be loaded with up to 2 million spores and can survive for up to 20 years. The main methods of spreading are through machinery, soil and water erosion, wind, and even seed dust. What scares me the most are custom applicators. One piece of machinery spread over various land locations and landowners could lead to the expansion of it across their areas, causing a snowball effect in a relatively short period. It is hard to detect clubroot without getting your hands dirty and pulling plants for root inspection. Looking at the crop canopy. If you notice patches of discoloration or delayed maturity that is like drought stress, other disease infestation, or nutrient deficiency, you should consider further scouting and testing.

So, what can we do about it? The best management practice is sanitization. This is a laborious method, but effective. I’ve been told that it is not possible to wash equipment after use, but it is possible, and we see this within the oilfield industry. If we know we have it, and its lifespan is 20 years, it might be in your best interest to sanitize coming out of that field. The other practice we can use is growing multi-genetic clubroot-resistant varieties and incorporating a one-in-four-year rotation.

Not only has clubroot evolved, but so has the science behind it. Take this into consideration when it comes to variety selection. Other ways to mitigate the spread are minimizing vehicle traffic, avoiding the use of straw, direct seeding, monitoring, and using new approaches.

Nick Dunn is Flagstaff County’s Agricultural Fieldman. He can be reached via email at: ndunn@flagstaff.ab.ca or by phone at: 780-384-4138.

The Farming Footprint

By Nick Dunn

There has been a lot of discussion recently on how the agricultural industry will be affected by the world gaining more recognition towards carbon. This specifically spiked when our Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, brought forward his fertilizer plan. His plan is to achieve a 30% fertilizer reduction below 2020 levels by 2030.  

The world’s population is close to 8 billion people, and we do not have enough food to feed everyone as it stands. Here in Canada, we are fortunate to be able to produce far more than we can consume, which makes us a reliable country for feeding the future. In conjunction with Guilbeault’s plan, the federal government has a goal to increase international agri-food trade to $75 billion by 2025 (which was surpassed in 2021 by $7 billion) mainly led by unexpected global issues. To support feeding the world’s population and maintain Canada’s export expectations, we rely on synthetic fertilizers. Fertilizer use is essential for crop production and along with other technological advances, has allowed us to increase yields over the past 40 years. It gives us a fighting chance. 

With this plan, Canadian farmers could potentially lose $48 billion in revenue, according to a study from Fertilizer Canada, due to reduced yields. Reduced fertilizer use goes hand in hand with reduced yields. Globally, there are some other similar climate change policies being brought to the table. If many follow suit, there will be food shortages that we have never seen before. If you thought food was expensive today, I’m afraid to tell you the future doesn’t look any brighter. In fact, the worst is yet to come. Does Ottawa want to be a contributor to starting a global food crisis? 

For those who are in the agricultural industry, it’s important to bring awareness to what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. Our federal government is overlooking the consequences with these erratic goals and propositions due to a lack of knowledge. The agricultural industry has been making changes to better the quality of the soil and air without impacting productivity and this seems to be unrecognized. We’re stewards. We want to leave the land in better shape than when we received it. This is part of our succession plan: to promote longevity. The fertilizer industry already promotes the use of the 4R Nutrient Management plan, which is intended to improve fertilizer use and efficacy. The right source, right rate, right time and in the right place is a guide to promote efficient farming practices and help keep nutrients in the soil. Not only does this model help the pockets of our producers, but it has been proven to lower emissions. When we put fertilizer in the ground with the 4R stewardship model, we’re essentially replacing what we are removing with harvest, whether it be removed from the seed or the straw. If we didn’t, we would be considered soil miners, not producers. After long periods of abusing soil quality, we wouldn’t be able to produce anything. There are many other advancements that producers have incorporated to help reduce emissions like Implementing diesel exhaust fluid into equipment, feed and manure management, crop rotation, and reduced tillage. The Flagstaff County Agriculture Service Board (ASB), along with many other ASBs throughout Alberta, have been writing letters to the provincial and federal governments to reconsider how this goal is measured and achieved. Consider our world, country, economy, and industry.   

Nick Dunn is Flagstaff County’s Agricultural Fieldman. He can be reached via email at: ndunn@flagstaff.ab.ca or by phone at: 780-384-4138.

Drainage authorization required

Under the Water Act, landowners are NOT permitted to drain any wetland without first obtaining provincial authorization.

This spring, we have received complaints about landowners draining water from fields to adjacent land. This practice is becoming all too common.

Unauthorized drainage disrupts the natural water flow of an area, leading to flooding of roads and generally negatively affecting infrastructure – which Public Works crews have witnessed first-hand this spring.

If you are aware of any trenching on private land, you are urged to contact the Alberta Government’s 24-hour Environmental Hotline at 1-800-222-6514. If you wish, you may remain anonymous.

hotline copy

Click HERE for a pamphlet highlighting the essential points of the Water Act.

Click HERE for more information.