There’s no doubt the 2021 drought across the Prairies had widespread negative impacts.
Heading into the 2022 season there was a lot of concern for herbicide carryover, but as Warren Ward, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada explains, there is some positive carryover to keep in mind: nitrogen carryover. Across Saskatchewan especially, there seemed to be a consistent carryover of nitrogen in those drought stricken fields, says Ward.
“One of the ways of knowing or verifying that is using soil tests, and there was a bit of an uptake last year in terms of soil testing in the fall,” explains Ward. “I think a lot of people realize I applied this much nitrogen, but only removed that much in terms of a crop. So where is the rest of it? In a lot of cases, it was sitting right there in the field.”
Ward was on hand at the Western Applied Research Centre (WARC) Field Day at Scott, Sask., where showed a field that had a 45 pound nitrogen carryover rate in the soil from the previous year.
“That’s higher than they would normally expect to see. So that combined with the really dry conditions we had last year, now we’ve got some moisture happening this year. So we’ve got access to that nitrogen that was left there. Hopefully, we’ve accounted for it by doing a soil test. So we can adjust our fertilizer rates this year, and also account for that mineralization that’s going to happen in the soil now that we have some moisture there to drive that process as well,” says Ward.
Learn more in the full conversation with Warren Ward and RealAgriculture’s Brittany Warner, below: