SARM response to Strychnine ban

SARM unhappy with PMRA decision to pull strychnine

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is appalled to learn that the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has made final decision to cancel the approved use of strychnine to control Richardson Ground Squirrels (RGS). The PMRA’s decision is based on anecdotal assumptions, not recent research. In 2019, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture (SMA) completed a study on the use of strychnine. This study indicated that despite a large number of non-target species present, death from strychnine was limited to only four deer mice.

“With such a small proven environmental impact PMRA should be using SMA’s research to support the continued use of strychnine, not to discontinue it” expressed President Ray Orb. “We plan to meet with Minister Marit and decision makers in Ottawa” said Orb “SARM will take all steps needed to have the decision overturned or at minimum have our producers compensated for any crop damage due to gophers.”

PMRA’s plan is to phase out the product over the next three years, making the product unavailable after March 4, 2021 and fully banned for use March 4, 2023. There is currently no alternative to control RGS.

In 1992 to 2001, 2% liquid strychnine wasn’t available causing RGS populations to explode resulting in millions of dollars in losses to producers. In the years it has been made available populations have declined. Dry years with no effective method of control will result in devastating losses.

“I hope the Province can appeal or at least delay the decision” said Orb, “Our producers don’t need to be enduring anymore hardships.”

SARM stands up for rural Saskatchewan and will continue to act in the collective best interest of rural municipalities.

Holiday Hours

December 24 – 8:30-12:00

December 25 – Closed

December 26 – Closed

December 27 – 8:30-4:00

December 31 – 8:30-4:00

January  1-3 – Closed

January 6 – Closed

Crop Insurance Industry Letter

October 8, 2019

Dear Industry Partners:

Re:  2019 Harvest

The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) understands the challenges producers are facing this fall due to recent heavy rain and snow delaying harvest. I would like to take this opportunity to provide some information about coverage options available to Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers.

Crop Insurance provides coverage for both yield and quality loss on insured crops. It is important producers stay in contact with SCIC about their crop quality. Our offices will be able to identify producers who appear to be in a claim position due to quality losses.

If a Crop Insurance customer wants to put their crop to an alternate use, they simply need to contact their local SCIC office or Crop Insurance Customer Service toll-free line, at 1-888-935-0000. SCIC is committed to dispatching our adjusters to process producer’s pre-harvest appraisal, as timely as possible. In order to provide an accurate inspection for both yield and quality loss, SCIC prefers a harvested check-strip, with an adjuster present, to complete a producer’s appraisal and calculate any potential claim.

For those livestock producers worried about nitrates and other quality issues with feed stock or inquiring about winter feed plans, resources are available through the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Ministry specialists are available to assist producers with obtaining an analysis of their feed and developing a feeding plan for their livestock. Livestock and Feed Extension Specialists can also assist producers in management and planning when faced with salvaging grain crops for livestock forage. I encourage producers to please contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 or take advantage of the current SaskAgNow article discussing managing winter feeding with alternative feed sources, feed testing, winder feeding plans and; canola hay/silage for livestock:

With crops currently still out in the field, I want to also remind your members about the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. All Saskatchewan producers are eligible for coverage. Producers do not have to be a Crop Insurance customer to be eligible to submit a claim. Producers are encouraged to contact SCIC as soon as damage is detected: 1-888-935-0000. SCIC continues to monitor Wildlife Damage calls over the weekends during harvest season.

For those producer’s enrolled in AgriStability for the 2019 program year, lower than expected yields and crop quality downgrading could impact a participant’s margin. AgriStability participants can apply for an interim benefit before the year is over. Interim benefits allow producers to receive up to 50 per cent of their AgriStability benefit early. If producers have questions about AgriStability, they can contact their local SCIC office or call the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450.

As a producer myself, I understand this is a stressful time. The Farm Stress Line is available at

1-800-667-4442. This is a 24/7 confidential service, available to producers across the province. Whether your members are seeking information, or trying to manage a conflict or crisis, I encourage producers to reach out and seek assistance, if needed.

I am hopeful 2019 harvest will be completed through October and November. In the event harvest is further delayed and producers are unable to harvest their crop by November 15, Crop Insurance customers have the option to request an extension of insurance. An extension of insurance provides coverage on insured crops over winter. November 15 is also the deadline to file a claim and/or report their production declaration, following the completion of harvest. For more information on this, or any of SCIC’s programs, please visit our website:

We are currently monitoring the weather and harvest progress. SCIC is working alongside the Ministry of Agriculture, and our industry partners, to keep producers informed. I would encourage you to share this information with your members and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact my office.


Shawn Jaques
President and CEO

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation

New Rules for Semi Operators in the Ag Sector

Mandatory Training for Drivers of Semis Used in Agriculture Operation

New training requirements for those wishing to drive a semi in agriculture operations will be phased in starting next year. The changes follow the implementation of 121.5 mandatory training hours for Class 1 commercial semi drivers that came into effect March 15, 2019.
Training impacts for the ag sector are as follows:

  • Effective March 1, 2020, anyone wishing to obtain an “F” endorsement on their existing driver’s licence will be required to take 40 hours of commercial driver training.  The “F” endorsement will include a restriction that the holder can drive a farm vehicle normally requiring a Class 1 driver’s licence only within a 100-km radius of the address on the vehicle registration, and is restricted to operating within Saskatchewan’s borders.
  • Effective March 1, 2021, the “F” endorsement will be eliminated and anyone wanting to operate a semi will require a Class 1 driver’s licence, which will include taking the full 121.5-hour mandatory training program.  This includes all “F” endorsement holders, who will need to complete the training program.*  Drivers who have previously taken 40 hours of training toward the “F” endorsement will be given credit for those hours.

The changes mean that in 2021, mandatory training programs across the prairies will be completely aligned.

*Anyone who obtained a Class 1 licence before mandatory training was implemented is allowed to continue to drive a semi. 

More information can be found here.

Fire Ban

The Rural Municipality of Cupar #218 has issued a Level 1 fire ban effective June 4, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.  The ban is as follows:

Open burning in the municipality is banned due to dry, high risk fire spread conditions.  It is recommended Agriculture and Industrial operations with water tanks at their disposal have those filled and accessible at all times. 

LEVEL 1 Fire Ban

Open burning in the R.M. of Cupar #218 is banned. 

A Level 1 Fire Ban includes:

  1. Controlled burns
  2. Incinerators (for farm and acreage use)
  3. All burning barrels
  4. Fireworks

Exemptions to a level 1 fire ban (with a plan to extinguish a fire) are:

  1. Camp Stoves
  2. Solid Fuel Barbecues/Recreational Camp Fires
  3. Liquid fuel barbecues (propane or natural gas )

This order takes effect on June 4, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. and is in effect until further notice.  Please be advised a minimum fine for starting a fire is $500 plus the cost of the fire departments being dispatched. 

For further information contact the RM office at (306) 723-4726 or

2019 Assessment Roll Open

Notice is hereby given that the assessment roll for the R.M. of Cupar #218 for the year 2019 has been prepared and is open to inspection in the office of the assessor from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the following days:  Monday to Friday from March 15 to April 15, 2019 excluding holidays.

                  A bylaw pursuant to section 214 of The Municipalities Act has been passed and the assessment notices have been sent as required.

                  Any person who wishes to appeal against his or her assessment is required to file his or her notice of appeal with:  The Assessor, R.M. of Cupar No. 218, Box 400, Cupar, SK, S0G 0Y0 on or before April 15, 2019

                  Dated this 15th day of March, 2019

                  Nikki Czemeres,


RM of Cupar Hearing Clinic

Hearing Clinic Planned for the R.M. of Cupar #218 Ratepayers

What animal found on the farm is loud enough to damage your hearing?  Are earmuffs more effective than earplugs?  Do you know how to prevent noise-induced hearing loss? Do you have hearing loss? What type of earing protection should I use?

To offer answers to those questions and much more information, appointments can be made for a Hearing Clinic for Farmers which is being held for the ratepayers of the R.M. of Cupar #218 on Monday, March 18th, 2019 from 10:00 am- 4:00 pm at the RM office in Cupar, SK. To book an appointment please call (306) 723-4726.

The clinic will include a visual inspection of the ear canal and ear drum and a hearing screening with explanation of those results.  Participants will be shown how to insert earplugs and will receive information to take home related to hearing loss prevention.  When necessary, referrals are made.  Hearing aids are not sold at the clinic.

“On the farm, there are many noises including those from augers, tractors, shotguns and squealing hogs at feeding time that can damage your hearing”, says Kendra Ulmer, Nurse and Clinic Coordinator for the Agricultural Health and Safety Network, at the Canadian Centre For Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan.

The clinic is being offered to RM #218 ratepayers because they are members of the Agricultural Health and Safety Network and is co-sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture and Saskatchewan Agriculture.

For additional information regarding this release, please contact:

Kendra Ulmer, Nurse and Program Coordinator

Agriculture Health and Safety Network

Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture

(306) 966-6643


Message from Premier Moe and Sask Power plus Info on the Emergency Plan

Hi All!  With today’s power outage and potential for more, I am sharing some info with you:

Here is Premier Moe’s message as of 1:00 today:

Power Outage Update

Update on the power outage situation across many parts of Saskatchewan.

Posted by Scott Moe on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We also received a message from SaskPower.

Good day,

SaskPower is aware of outages impacting most of the City of Regina as well as other communities in the province.

We are communicating directly with you as a valued partner in hopes you can share this information with your networks, communities and stakeholders. SaskPower has suffered significant issues because of frost over the past few days. We are working to assess the situation and make repairs.

This is what you need to know;

  • The frost is causing lines to fall and sag; please be safe and stay at least 10 meters away. Do not try to remove frost from the lines yourself. Lines that look damaged can still be live.
  • If you’re using a generator, you need to use an installed transfer switch. Without a transfer switch, your generator will feed power back into the lines, creating a serious hazard for our personnel working to restore power.
  • Never operate a generator in a house, garage or enclosed building. Doing so will put you and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Thank you for your patience as we work to restore power to our customers. We don’t have an exact time for restoration but are looking at late this afternoon at the earliest for some areas. We will share more information as it becomes available.

For the latest information please stay updated at our;

SaskPower Twitter feed:

SaskPower Blog:

SaskPower Website:

Some sources on Staying Safe in a Power Outage:

If you need anything, call the RM office or my cell if the power is off.  331-8449.  Stay safe All!