Statistics for fun, physiology interests, and covering new ground — a LIVE! with Nate Ort


The Canola Council of Canada’s (CCC) agronomy specialists are a very knowledgable group of people.

Their latest recruit, Nate Ort, is no different. He joins us for today’s LIVE! with guest host Kara Oosterhuis. They recently did a Canola School episode on choosing the right canola hybrid for your farm, which if you missed, can be found here.

RealAg hosts a LIVE! Q&A on a timely topic each weekday on social media at 1 pm M/3 pm E!


  • Nate worked on a potato farm (not his), but that experience propelled his career in ag
  • Lots of summers spent with Bayer
  • Finishing up a MSc in plant science (soybean physiology and development)
  • Eastern Manitoba territory for Canola Council
  • Selecting the right canola variety for your farm
  • It’s all about the farmer’s particular priorities
  • Hybrids aren’t available forever, it’s important to switch them up and to plan ahead
  • Grow more than one hybrid, minimize risk of susceptibility to disease and insect pests
  • Genetics will respond differently depending on environment, which is why it’s so important to check trial data in your region (as opposed  to trials performed in a different environment)
  • Important to realize how local trials are set-up. Are they replicated sufficiently? Are they randomized?
  • Running an on-farm trial can be a great resource for farmers
  • Other things to pay attention, while you’re maybe sitting at a conference: bar graphs, a’s, b’s, c’s: if there’s only one a, one b, and one c, then the results were actually different from each other, if there’s an a and a b for the same bar, let’s say, there wasn’t truly a significant difference between a treatment
  • Any crossover between soybean and canola in terms of disease? Yes! Sclerotinia (called white mould in soybeans) can be a rotational concern
  • Clubroot’s a big concern in canola.
  • Nate’s specific interest is physiology (cause he’s a plant science kinda person). Heat blast (of flowers) is of specific interest to him. Translating the research to what that mean’s in the field is on his to-do list.
  • Nate’s new to the job, but adjusting, and the CCC is looking for new ways to get info out to farmers and agronomists.
  • Plant stand project, disease project, choosing the right hybrid, fertility projects are all on the docket at CCC
  • It wasn’t until post-secondary education that Nate realized just how much he liked agriculture, and that Don Flaten found Nate’s connection to agriculture, even though he didn’t grow up on a farm
  • Nate’s advice for someone who’s interested in ag, but maybe didn’t grow up near ag? Agriculture is also biology, chemistry, technology, finance, marketing, not just agronomy or running equipment.
  • Agriculture is a small world and there are connections everywhere. It’s not hard to stumble across someone in agriculture.

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