About the Centre
The Centre consists of 145 hectares of federal land at Outlook, Saskatchewan, Canada. The Centre is comprised of 80 hectares on the main site and 65 hectares on a satellite irrigated site located east of Outlook. A total of 124 hectares is available for irrigation research and demonstration ranging from small plot trials to commercial scale production. The Executive Management Committee is the governing body of the Centre. It consists of federal, provincial and industry representatives: one from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, one from Saskatchewan Agriculture, one from the Irrigated Crop Diversification Corporation (ICDC), one from the Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association (SIPA), and one from the University of Saskatchewan.
The Executive Management Committee provides direction to the Centre Manager. The manager is responsible for managing the staff, programs, contracts and budgets assigned to the Centre. This includes the Centre's involvement in collaborative projects with industry, university researchers, and extension services.
History of the Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre
The Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre (CSIDC) originated as the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) Farm at Outlook, Saskatchewan. The PFRA Pre-development Farm was established in 1949, prior to the construction of the Gardiner Dam. The farm was designed to demonstrate irrigation technology to assist farmers in their transition to irrigated agriculture. Upon completion of the Gardiner Dam and the formation of Lake Diefenbaker, the farm became known as the Demonstration Farm and served a useful role in demonstrating irrigation technology. It operated in this manner until 1986.
In 1986, the Saskatchewan Irrigation Development Centre (SIDC) was established as a jointly funded federal/provincial agency as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding between Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, PFRA and Saskatchewan Agriculture. It's role was to conduct, fund and facilitate irrigated research and demonstration in response to industry needs.
In recognition of the importance of partnerships, and particularly the role of industry as part of the partnership, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in 1998. This MOU included Canada (PFRA), Saskatchewan Agriculture, and industry [Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association (SIPA) and the Irrigation Crop Diversification Corporation (ICDC)] at the management table of the newly named Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre (CSIDC).
In 2008, a new partnership agreement was signed to carry on the work at the Centre. It also expanded the partnership to include the University of Saskatchewan. This current agreement places CSIDC in a strong position to meet the future needs of its clients.
Since the formation of CSIDC, Canada and Saskatchewan have delivered irrigated research and demonstration information to their clients. This has been done using departmental budgets along with funding from federal/provincial initiatives including the Saskatchewan Irrigation-Based Economic Development (SIBED) program, the Partnership Agreement on Water-Based Economic Development (PAWBED), and the Agri-Food Innovation Fund (AFIF).
CSIDC offers a wide range of equipment and facilities for applied irrigation research and demonstration. A full complement of equipment is available for replicated small plot work on cereal, oilseed, pulse, potato, vegetable and forage crops. Commercial equipment is available for field scale demonstrations and large plot work. A complete line of cleaning and drying equipment is available to handle all types of seed crops.
The land base includes 72 ha (180 acres) on-site utilizing a range of irrigation methodology and types of equipment. The Centre is well equipped with sprinkler and drip irrigation equipment designed for replicated trials, water management studies, and irrigation application efficiency work. Water is supplied to the Centre by a computer-controlled underground pressurized supply system.
An off-station satellite site provides an additional 52 ha (130 acres) of centre pivot irrigated land available for small plot work and large-scale demonstrations.
Soil and water quality studies are supported by basic laboratory equipment including conductance meters and drying ovens. Environment Canada operates a fully equipped automated weather station at the Centre. A potato/vegetable storage and lab facility provides state-of-the-art storage facilities, including a humidity and temperature controlled filacell storage. The building houses a potato handling and grading area, and a full size laboratory. The lab contains the equipment necessary for assessing the baking, boiling, chipping, and frying qualities of potato.
A fully functional greenhouse is available for year-round operation. The greenhouse has 95 m2 of growing area and is ideal for starting transplants and evaluating year round production of selected horticultural crops. It is equipped with hydroponics, and an automated watering system.
The office facility, constructed in 1994 and fully renovated in 2006/2007, combines office space, a conference room, and laboratory space. The grounds are spacious and well maintained. They are suitable for hosting large tour groups, trade shows, and special events.
Links to Websites of Interest
- Canadian National Committee for Irrigation and Drainage (CANCID)
- International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
- United States Committee on Irrigation and Drainage
- Saskatchewan Seed Potato Growers Association
- Canadian Water Resources Association
- Saskatchewan Herb & Spice Association
- Agri-Food Innovation Fund
- Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association (SIPA)
- Irrigation Crop Diversification Corporation (ICDC)
- Saskatchewan Agriculture - Irrigation
- Canada-Alberta Crop Development Initiative (CACDI) - Lethbridge Irrigation Development Centre
- Alberta Irrigation Projects Association