Category: Research

Restoring eroded knolls has huge potential to boost yield

Landscape restoration: do you do it? You might want to think about doing it, because chances are you’re losing yield if you don’t, according to Marla Riekman, land management specialist with Manitoba Agriculture. In the simplest terms, landscape restoration is moving soil back from where it came from. When growers use tillage year after year,… Read more »

Building the case for subsurface drip irrigation

There’s no messing around when the lead researcher of the subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system at Lethbridge College asks for soil for her project. Bins measuring six by three metres and one metre deep were filled with three different, but common topsoil types found in southern Alberta. They include Grassy Lake sand, Lomond loam and Coaldale clay… Read more »

Alberta and Saskatchewan wheat commissions announce $1.6 million in combined research funding

The provincial wheat grower commissions in Alberta and Saskatchewan have announced more than $1.6 million in combined funding over three years for over half a dozen wheat-related research projects. “These projects have the potential to bring major benefits to farmers across Western Canada,” notes Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission chair Laura Reiter. “We’re proud to partner… Read more »

Wheat School: How do we fund wheat research?

Over the last decade, the average yield increase for corn tips the scale at five bushels per acre, per year. During the same period wheat yield gains have averaged a meagre one bushel per acre, per year. What is the future of wheat if it can’t match the yield gains of crops like corn and… Read more »

Ode to the plant breeder

Personally, I know that I lack the ability to focus on one thing for very long. I bounce from topic to topic every day as new issues develop and new questions arise. Authors commit months, or even years, to one subject when writing a book. Their ability to make that time commitment is so amazing… Read more »

Corn School: Does split nitrogen pay in Western Canada?

The practice of split-applying nitrogen through the growing season has been increasing throughout U.S. midwest corn states and in Eastern Canada. In Western Canada, about 20 percent of corn growers in Manitoba have adopted the in-season practice, according to newly-released results of a survey conducted by the Manitoba Corn Growers. In this episode of RealAgriculture… Read more »

Wheat School: Waxy wheat shines in droughty climes

Do wheat varieties with higher leaf wax levels perform better in dry, stressful growing conditions? That’s a question RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson and C & M Seeds general manager Ellen Sparry tackle on this episode of the Wheat School as they tour C & M’s research site at the company’s Harriston, ON, location. Sparry notes that… Read more »

Drones could make crop research 10 times more efficient

Every farmer doesn’t need to own and operate a drone for UAV technology to have a positive impact on their farm. That’s the message Scott Ditschun shares with farmers when he discusses how Bayer CropScience is employing drones in its agronomic and product research. He says UAV technology could effectively increase Bayer’s field research efficiency by… Read more »

Will relay intercropping work in Ontario?

RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson is keeping a close eye on relay intercropping trials planted in Ontario this summer. The objective of the research is to evaluate whether Ontario farmers could effectively plant soybeans into standing wheat versus double cropping soybeans that are planted after wheat is harvested. In this video, Johnson inspects an intercropping trial at… Read more »

Monsanto BioAg BioAdvantage Trial – 2017 results

The third year of Monsanto BioAg’s BioAdvantage Trials (BAT) wrapped up with a morning event that had co-operators, agronomists, and reps feeling optimistic for the growing season to come. The event was held in Saskatoon, the home of partner brand Novozymes’ headquarters and a hub for Western Canadian Ag. The event would update attendees on… Read more »

Soybean School: How do researchers unlock higher yields?

Does throwing the kitchen sink at your soybean crop provide an economic yield response? The answer is a definitive “No” says University of Minnesota associate professor Seth Naeve. His conclusion is based on the the results of a huge three-year U.S. study that he shared with growers attending the Southwest Agricultural Conference in Ridgetown, Ont.,… Read more »

Corn School: How much corn residue should you remove?

Do your corn fields yield less than 170 bu/ac? If so, you have to be careful when removing corn residue from those fields because you could be depleting the field’s soil organic matter. That was the message USDA research agronomist Shannon Osbourne shared with those attending the recent Southwest Agricultural Conference at the University of… Read more »

Intercropping for rookies: Overcoming the unknown

Intercropping — the concept of growing multiple crops together (intentionally!) — can sound overwhelming, messy and complicated for many of us accustomed to growing one crop at a time. Which crops should be grown together? How do we separate them after harvest? Hang on, how do we harvest them? And seeding? How do you manage… Read more »

Soybean School: Rolling your way to higher yields

Can rolling soybeans pump up your yields? If you get the timing right it looks like there’s a two bu/ac payoff, according to research conducted this summer by OMAFRA soybean specialist Horst Bohner. In this edition of RealAgriculture Soybean School. Bohner explains that growers traditionally get a 0.5 bu/ac return on rolling due to better… Read more »

Canola School: Determining the best variety to grow next year

Which clubroot-resistant canola variety with herbicide tolerance trait X is the earliest maturing in your area? What about the highest-yielding blackleg resistant variety with herbicide trait Y? Every year the Canola Council of Canada administers the Canola Performance Trials — a third-party small plot and field scale evaluation of current canola varieties. The program is… Read more »