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Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota CCA Director LUARS Thunder Bay wins the Distinguished Agronomist Award of the Canadian Society of Agronomy 2021. The Distinguished Agronomist Award is presented annually to members of the Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) in recognition of their outstanding contributions to agronomy. The award is given to those who:

  1. Are active members of CSA with fifteen years membership;
  2. Are near retirement age or retired;
  3. Have a distinguished record of service to the CSA and in the field of agronomy in Canada, and
  4. Have been actively engaged in research, teaching, extension or admin or some combination thereof in Canada for more than 20 years. (Research, teaching, extension and/or admin contributions from outside Canada are also considered.).

Dr. Sheri Strydhorst, Chair Advisory Committee CSA, in her Award Bestowing letter to Dr. Sahota wrote,

“The Award Committee was highly impressed with your distinguished career and countless contributions to the field of agronomy through research, teaching, training and outreach activities. Your deep commitment to the CSA including serving as President Elect, President, and Past President, organizing annual technical conferences, serving on award committees, and receiving the 2018 CSA Fellow award, were specifically noted and are highly commendable. You are an incredibly passionate scientist, who has made a substantial and wide-ranging contribution to the field through your leadership, collaborations, and deep involvement in Canadian agronomy.”

Dr. Yousef A. Papadopoulos Research Scientist AAFC Truro who nominated Dr. Sahota for the award wrote in his nomination letter that Dr. Sahota was able to obtain his research funding on his own and lead a very productive Agronomy research/technology transfer program. He was able to lead and sustain a private research station (2004-‘18) with no guaranteed funding and was instrumental in its transition to LUARS, Lakehead University in 2018 lending stability to it.  His marvelous ability to relate his research to producers’ current and future needs has been acknowledged by many organizations across the region and the country. Dr. Sahota was able to increase farm productivity and incomes through (i) diversification of cropping systems by introducing several new crops and crop varieties, (ii) identification and rectification of S, Zn and B deficiencies, (iii) initiating long term experiments on tillage, crop rotations, lime and wood ash, manure and macro/micro nutrients and maximum yield and persistence in alfalfa; communicating results from these experiments to the farmers and (iv) working on and introducing best nutrient management practices such as applying N from multiple N sources, seed row placement of part N as ESN, etc.. He was the first one in Ontario to initiate research on ESN in field crops in 2006 and due to his research and extension efforts, Ontario farmers started applying ESN in 2009. Prosperity on farms is quite obvious in his area.  

Dr. Tom Bruulsema Chief Scientist Plant Nutrition Canada, one of those who provided letters of support for Dr. Sahota’s Nomination, wrote as follows:

Dr. Sahota has provided strong leadership to the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station and has earned the respect and trust of local farmers through the dissemination of relevant agronomic information from the research trials he has managed. In addition, he was responsible for seeking the funding support for this research. Without his dedicated efforts, this research would not have happened, as the research station was on the verge of closing several times. The fact that he managed to keep it viable, during a period when many other research stations and colleges of agricultural technology actually did close across the province of Ontario, is a testament to his commitment to the scientific discipline of agronomy. The transition to its affiliation with Lakehead University brings a welcome scientific recognition to this agronomic research work, and bodes well for the stability of the institution into the future. The farmers of Northern Ontario stand to benefit greatly.

The crop nutrition industry has particularly appreciated the extensive research and extension conducted on the topic of secondary and micronutrient fertilizers, along with enhanced efficiency nitrogen fertilizers. This work has resulted in the identification of deficiencies that limit nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency, and has identified viable strategies to improve those efficiencies along with the productivity of the agricultural system. Dr. Sahota has provided valuable data for development of recommendations by the Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee. Northern Ontario representatives of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association have spoken to me commending the value and relevance of his research. Dr. Sahota’s research, and his numerous extension articles, have been highly valued by the Certified Crop Advisers of Ontario. In addition, his work is often featured in the Ontario Farmer newsweekly, one of the most influential farm publications in the province of Ontario.

This is Dr. Sahota’s second award in the past three years; the first one was the CSA Fellow Award in 2018!

The award includes a suitably engraved plaque, free conference registration, a speaking slot of at least 30 minutes at the CSA Annual General Meeting (AGM)/Conference and up to $2500 for travel expenses to present at the AGM. This year’s conference is virtual because of COVID-19.

Award Plaque.jpg

Dr. Sahota’s brief biography could be seen on page 6 here. 

He can be contacted at [email protected]/and 807-707-1987

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