Category: Fertility

Corn School: Boost kernel size for more yield

If you’re targeting maximum corn yield, you need to fine-tune plant nutrition for a particular two-week period of the corn growing season, says Tony Vyn, professor of agronomy at Purdue University. That’s because while we’ve been focused on more rows and kernels per row per ear, modern hybrids can pack tonnes of yield in if… Read more »

Wheat School: What’s the best N rate for my goal yield and protein?

How confident are you in your selected nitrogen (N) rate for wheat? Do you adjust that number based on yield potential? Variety? Soil type? How much N is enough to reach maximum potential? You might be surprised to learn that existing nitrogen rate recommendations are based off of older research, with older varieties, and without… Read more »

Corn School: Using your drone to make better management decisions

Recent advances in the availability and quality of satellite imagery is providing powerful in-season management insights for corn growers. Many growers feel it’s no longer necessary to fly their own drone to capture aerial images of their fields. They can simply rely on a growing number of agronomic services to scout their crop using drone… Read more »

Soybean School: Learning from Ontario’s 2017 crop

It’s not official, but it looks like Ontario’s 2017 soybean yield will come in at around 43 bushels per acre. That’s down from the 46-bushel five-year average, but considering the challenges Mother Nature threw at the crop during the past growing year, OMAFRA soybean specialist Horst Bohner will take it. In this edition of RealAgriculture… Read more »

Canola School: Closing the hole in the phosphorus cycle

Phosphorus is a critical nutrient in farming, but it has also received a lot of negative attention for the impact it can have on water quality. If we consider the path of a single phosphorus molecule, it probably originates in a rock formation in the U.S. or North Africa. From there it becomes fertilizer and… 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 »

Keeping nitrogen available in the root zone

Nitrogen in the soil is available to plants in two forms: ammonium (NH4) and nitrate (N03). The problem with nitrate is, unlike ammonium, it’s a negatively-charged ion that’s not attracted to soil particles or soil organic matter. Nitrate is also water soluble, so it can easily move out of a crop’s rooting zone to places… Read more »

Corn School: ‘Wins’ of spring 2017

2017 may well be remembered for the spring that just kept on giving. From flooding to hail, Mother Nature threw just about every challenge imaginable at Ontario farmers during the early portion of the growing season. But despite difficult conditions that wreaked havoc on spring tillage, planting, weed control and nutrient application, farmers have persevered…. Read more »

New tool helps minimize phosphorus loss

When and how should you apply phosphorus for maximum crop production benefit while ensuring it stays put in the field? Answering these questions is a job for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ new phosphorus loss assessment tool, explains OMAFRA soil fertility specialist Jake Munroe. In this video, Munroe explains how the… Read more »

Corn School: Does wet soil need more nitrogen?

The rain keeps falling in Ontario and all the water-logged soils make it tough to get a good read on how much nitrogen is available to the province’s corn crop. In this edition of RealAgriculture Corn School, agronomist Peter Johnson discusses whether corn acres need supplemental nitrogen and how much they might need. It depends on… Read more »

Corn School: Cool weather calls for more sidedress nitrogen

Ontario’s cool, wet spring not only delayed planting, but also put the brakes on nitrogen mineralization, limiting the nutrient’s availability to the growing corn crop. According to OMAFRA pre-sidedress nitrate testing (PSNT) survey results released this week, corn growers are looking at the lowest rates of available nitrogen since the survey began in 2013. In… Read more »

Corn School: Cold and wet means less available nitrogen

What a difference a year makes. In 2016, Ontario’s cold and dry spring conditions produced plenty of available nitrogen for the emerging corn crop. But when you fast-forward to 2017, those cold soils are now waterlogged and the wet conditions mean there’s very little nitrogen available to the crop. The wet soil conditions have a… Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, May 17: Western Canada leads #plant17, leaf burn woes, and crusting corn

Cork-screw corn, good-looking western spring crops, heat unit discrepancies — it’s been a wild week of major seeding progress in Western Canada, while much of Ontario’s planting progress has been hamstrung with extremely cold and wet weather. Some Ontario farmers, including Wheat Pete’s Word host Peter Johnson, are on to plan C for field prep as rain… Read more »

Wheat School: Nitrogen stays put in cold, wet conditions

It’s been cold and it’s been raining… and raining. Does your wheat crop need more nitrogen? The answer is no, according to agronomist Peter Johnson. In this edition of RealAgriculture Wheat School, Johnson says despite the weather growers who have already applied 120 to 130 pounds of nitrogen to fields should be in good shape…. Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, May 10: Quality forage timing, cold temp fallout, and two-pass fungicide strategy

This week’s (almost!) cross-Canada Wheat Pete’s Word is packed full of great questions, worries about cold temperatures, solid timely answers on field management, and at least one alert, alert, alert! Your host Peter Johnson tackles questions on harvesting cereal rye (soon! this week!) while keeping compaction in mind, if corn seed is going to be… Read more »