NewsIndustry EventsManitoba's Gaia Consulting Hosts First Field Day

Manitoba’s Gaia Consulting Hosts First Field Day


Manitoba-based Gaia Consulting held it’s first ever field day on Aug. 8, 2023. And while the event unfortunately was unable to take place in a field it did still happen.

“We just irrigated our site just a couple of days ago. And we’re all ready for our field day today and then, of course, overnight, we received over three quarters of an inch of rain. And so we had to make the decision to not be at our field site,” Darin Gibson with Gaia Consulting said during an interview at the field day in Oakville, Man.

The independent research company pivoted and were able to move the field day to the Morrison Sports Park in Oakville, Man. While the plots weren’t able to be viewed, there were still potatoes grown in field trials at them on hand for attendees to view. Companies who run trials with Gaia Consulting also had booths set up to speak with growers and were given an opportunity to talk about their trials as part of the field day programming.

“We had over 15 clients here today…so growers were able to hear about what new products are coming along and and what results to watch for this winter, and products that could possibly help them on their farm,” Gibson added.

The research company decided to hold the field day after starting to do more fertility and biological growth trials. Previously they had focused on proprietary trials for crop protection companies where they couldn’t publicly share research information while the trials were ongoing. Gaia Consulting also purchased its first field trial site near its office in Newton, Man. in 2022.

“We’ve always had trials spread across the province, wherever potatoes are grown, often in grower fields,” Gibson said. “An opportunity came up where we could buy a small piece of land, where we could rotate a three-year rotation on and have our trails there. And so it’s really saves a lot of labour and driving time and fuel costs.”

By purchasing the land it also opened up the opportunity for Gaia Consulting to start hosting a field day. The research company hopes to be able to host a field day in 2024 onsite at their field near Newton, Man.

Highlights from the Gaia Consulting Field Day included:

  • Todd Forbush stressed the need for Manitoba growers to sugar test their potato fields within the next week to 10 days.
    • He noted that Manitoba potatoes haven’t received the heat needed for growth which is why it’s important to know what’s happening chemically.
    • For fields hit by hail potatoes should be sugar tested and compared to fields not hit by hail.

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