Category: Wheat School – West

Wheat School: The threat of ochratoxin A

Canada has a stellar grain safety record and reputation, but the president of Cereals Canada believes there needs to be more awareness of one specific mycotoxin that can show up after the crop is in the bin: ochratoxin A, or OTA. OTA is a potent toxin produced by fungus in storage. It’s considered to be… Read more »

Wheat School: The key to planting in dry soils

Whatever you do, get out there and plant your wheat. That’s the message agronomist Peter Johnson has for Ontario wheat growers in this episode of the Wheat School. “Either plant into moisture or plant in dust,” says Johnson, who notes that many growers across the province are hesitant to plant because of widespread dry soil conditions…. Read more »

Wheat School: ‘Real’ Wheat Farmers — Shawn Schill

Not often do you hear of wheat outyielding corn, but that’s the case in our latest episode in the ‘Real’ Wheat Farmers series. RealAgriculture resident agronomist Peter Johnson can barely contain himself when Arthur, Ontario farmer Shawn Schill of Shawridge Farms tells him that one 200-acre field yielded 154 bu/ac of wheat, beating the average corn… Read more »

Wheat School: Could winter durum reduce fusarium risk?

Winter durum wheat isn’t grown in Western Canada, but the possible benefits have breeders working on developing it. As Jamie Larsen with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge discusses in this Wheat School episode, winter durum could perform well during dry years, and face reduced fusarium head blight (FHB) risk compared with spring durum. “We are… Read more »

Wheat School: Putting a value on the “unpaid army”

Beneficial insects provide free labour in the field, preying on insect pests, but what is that labour worth? Because we don’t know the economic value of most of these insects, they don’t necessarily get factored into the decision to go ahead with spraying an insecticide. Finding economic values for the work these beneficial bugs are… Read more »

Wheat School: Can you seed winter wheat too early?

Wet conditions in parts of Western Canada — especially in the central and northern areas of Alberta — meant some acres went unseeded this spring. Winter cereals are an option for farmers eager to get a crop growing in those unseeded fields (or in early harvested fields in more southern areas), but there are some… Read more »

Wheat School: Is that second herbicide application necessary?

Herbicide resistance is not new in Canadian agriculture, but managing it is becoming a higher priority as the scope of herbicide resistant weeds grows. In Western Canada, number one on the ‘economically important’ list is resistant wild oats, notes Bob Blackshaw, weed scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in this Wheat School episode. “It’s the… Read more »

Wheat School: Keep watch for the Cereal Aphid Manager App

The decision to spray for aphids in cereal crops is complicated, as it requires not only scouting for and estimating aphid populations at a given moment, but predicting how those numbers will change due to weather and natural predators. The Cereal Aphids Manager App currently in development through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada aims to help… Read more »

Wheat School: Late nitrogen pumps up protein and profits

Surging wheat markets mean there’s plenty of profit potential in high protein wheat, and Peter Johnson has some tips to help you cash in on those premiums. In this episode of RealAgriculture Wheat School, Johnson, our resident agronomist and shameless wheat promoter, shares protein management insights for growers in Western Canada and spring wheat growers… Read more »

Wheat School: A new tool for assessing fusarium head blight risk

Fusarium, fusarium, fusarium. It’s certainly on many minds right now, with fungicide season underway and all too fresh memories of fusarium-infected grain from 2016 Since you can’t really scout for the disease, we have to use models, such as the brand new risk tool launched by the Alberta Wheat Commission and the Alberta Climate Information… Read more »

Wheat School: New FHB1 varieties offer better fusarium control, agronomics and yield

The FHB1 gene for fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance has been around for some time, but now it’s available in stronger agronomic varieties that deliver yield punch. That’s good news for North American wheat growers, says Bryan Gerard of Indiana-based Gerard Seed Solutions. In this episode of RealAgriculture Wheat School, Gerard explains that the FHB1… Read more »

Wheat School: Unleashing a bacteria biopesticide to control grassy weeds

A “biopesticide” is defined as a living organism that’s capable of controlling a pest, including weeds. Dr. Susan Boyetchko, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon, specializes in biopesticide technology, and she’s been working on a program to develop bio-based tools for controlling grassy weeds, such as wild oats and green foxtail. As she explains… Read more »

Wheat School: Counting kernels to predict yield

How much will that field yield? That’s a question RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson is often asked when talking with growers. In this episode of Wheat School, he reviews the formula for estimating wheat yield. Johnson says it can be difficult to peg yield because testweight is a wildcard that can be tough to eyeball and… Read more »

Wheat School: How harvest weed seed control could fit in the fight against herbicide resistance

Harvest weed seed control has been widely adopted in Australia as a tool in fighting herbicide resistance. When it comes to North America, farmers in southern States, such as Arkansas, have started implementing these concepts, but the idea of destroying weed seed viability has yet to take off here in Canada. In this Wheat School episode,… Read more »

Wheat School: Taking an integrated strategy against fusarium head blight

2016 was likely the worst year on record for fusarium head blight (FHB) infection in Western Canada, as the disease has spread west and north since becoming a problem in southern Manitoba in the early 1990s. According to the Canada Grain Commission’s harvest sample survey, almost a quarter of cereal samples in Alberta tested positive for… Read more »