It seems more and more producers are interested in growing corn in Canada, with interest spanning as far north as North Battleford, and increasingly, west into Alberta. In fact, the grain area in Alberta increased nearly 297% from 2006 to 2011, according to Stats Canada.
Besides growing corn for grain, many cattle producers are using it as a feedstock, through silage or straight grazing. Whatever your end result is, there will be challenges along the way. Arguably one of the biggest factors in determining success is selecting a corn variety. After that, it’s all about proper management.
Doug Moisey, area agronomist for DuPont Pioneer, took the time to address some of the common questions around growing grain corn in Alberta at DuPont Pioneer’s Corn Clinic in Red Deer last week. Perhaps the most critical factor in seeding? Soil temperature.
“Typically the ideal temperature at seed-depth — which is probably an inch and a half or maybe a little deeper — is about 10 degrees C, optimal is about 20 degrees C,” says Moisey. “On the agronomics side, this is sort of a very sensitive crop. It does take some special care and handling.”
In the following video, Moisey talks about some of the special care required for seeding corn in Alberta, covering: fertilizer requirements, seed placement, seeding speed, areas well-suited for grain corn and tips to avoid herbicide injury.