Will relay intercropping work in Ontario?

RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson is keeping a close eye on relay intercropping trials planted in Ontario this summer.

The objective of the research is to evaluate whether Ontario farmers could effectively plant soybeans into standing wheat versus double cropping soybeans that are planted after wheat is harvested.

In this video, Johnson inspects an intercropping trial at the Perth County Soil & Crop Improvement Association demonstration farm at Bornholm, Ontario. At this location, two 7.5-inch rows of winter wheat were planted on 30-inch centres. The next two rows on the drill were blocked to create space for the soybean crop. This pattern continued across the field. On May 8, single rows of soybeans were planted between the wheat. (Continues below video.)

At the Bornholm location, Johnson describes how the late-seeded wheat will see yield reductions due to slow canopy development. In this case, however, the wheat’s loss may create a soybean gain, as the latter will benefit from the increased sunlight.

Johnson also discusses the vastly different conditions the crops are experiencing in two other trials in the province as well as some of the management challenges, including weed control and herbicide selection.

RealAgriculture will return to the Bornholm trial this fall for a harvest update and yield results. Stay tuned.


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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