Category: Crop Management WSW

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: 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: 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 »

Wheat School: Shedding Pounds Makes Healthier Seeding Rate

Peter Johnson wishes farmers managed wheat more like corn. He admits that corn’s bigger yields and higher profitability creates more interest in intensively managing the crop, but that does not excuse growers from making good, basic wheat management decisions. One thing that drives Real Agriculture’s resident agronomist crazy is wheat growers who seed based on… Read more »

Wheat School: Rating Fusarium Tolerance Performance

Do wheat varieties perform in line with the ratings provided during the registration process? When it comes to fusarium head blight tolerance, the short answer is yes, but the long answer is it depends on the year. Holly Derksen, plant pathologist with Manitoba Agriculture, explains that the province has been tracking resistance performance of wheat… Read more »

Wheat School: Could an Owner’s Manual Accompany Your Next New Variety?

You may vary inputs based on field history or soil type, but have you considered treating your wheat differently, based on variety? It turns out that there are significant differences between how varieties respond to nitrogen, fungicide, and plant growth regulators. How a variety performs depends not just on its age, but where the background genetic… Read more »

Wheat School: New Nitrogen Strategies Needed to Keep Up With Big Yield Potential

It’s been a long time since the last public research was conducted to support nitrogen fertilizer recommendations for wheat on the eastern side of the prairies. “The last time we did publicly-funded research on wheat yields and nitrogen fertilizer recommendations was actually about 45 years ago, so we were dealing with lower yielding wheat varieties… Read more »

Wheat School: Don’t Get Burned With Contaminant in Urea

Growers topdressing melted urea to boost wheat protein should be asking their supplier whether it contains a contaminant that’s toxic to wheat, suggests a soil scientist at the University of Manitoba. With the introduction of higher yielding wheat varieties, there’s been new interest in applying post-anthesis nitrogen to wheat to boost protein content in Western… Read more »

Wheat School: Talk to Your Buyer Before Using Chlormequat

Before applying a plant growth regulator containing chlormequat to wheat, make sure you’ve confirmed you have a buyer willing to purchase it, because most of the major grain companies say they won’t. Potentially a valuable tool in reducing lodging, many growers are interested in applying Manipulator, a PGR introduced in Canada by Engage Agro in… Read more »

Wheat School: Ready, Aim…Delivering FHB Fungicide to Its Target, Through the Awns

As disease pressure mounts, fungicide applications to prevent fusarium head blight (FHB) have started in wheat across Western Canada. Effective FHB suppression comes down to timing and knowing where your target is, explains AgriMetrix spray application specialist Tom Wolf in this Wheat School episode. “We are specifically after the wheat head. We need an angled spray, typically a twin… Read more »