Category: Research

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 »

Innovative Farmers take action on compaction

What happens when 400 innovative farmers, a team of agronomy and extension specialists, and a leading soil compaction researcher descend on an Ontario farm? You get Compaction Action – likely the most ambitious and insightful ‘hands-on’ farm research day ever attempted in the province. The event, hosted by the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario (IFAO), featured… Read more »

Corn School: Evaluating late-season northern corn leaf blight control

With late planting and slow maturity, much of Ontario’s corn crop may be in for a challenge as leaf diseases arrive in fields across the province. In this episode of RealAgriculture Corn School, we catch up with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Rood and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) field pathologist Albert Tenuta in his leaf disease nursery… Read more »

Soybean School: One-pass vs. two-pass weed control

Should you spray your soybeans once or twice? In this episode of Real Agriculture Soybean School, OMAFRA weed specialist Mike Cowbrough takes a look at how one-pass and two-pass herbicide systems compare. He notes that a one-pass program can offer effective weed control if growers keep soybeans fields weed-free through the third trifoliate stage. But… Read more »

Canola School: Comparing vacuum planter and air seeder results

The ability to precisely place individual seeds in a row, as with corn or soybeans, has led some canola growers to switch from air seeders to vacuum planters. Trials in southern Alberta support the hypothesis that better seed-to-soil contact from using a planter results in improved germination and emergence, says Mike Gretzinger, research manager for… Read more »

Wheat School: Stripe rust here to stay, but help is on the way

Stripe rust was back in Ontario wheat fields again in 2017. This year the presence of the disease was first confirmed in Essex County by AGRIS Co-operative. This marks the second consecutive year the disease has devastated farm fields in the province. But help is on the way. In this edition of RealAgriculture Wheat School,… Read more »

High on hybrid rye

Rye is working hard to shed its reputation for lower yields, weak agronomics and poor standability when compared to other grain crops. With the arrival of new hybrid rye varieties in Ontario, it looks like rye’s days of being relegated to cover crop status in the province are over. Quite simply, growers, seed companies, agronomists… Read more »

Why invest in growing hemp?

Hemp is often seen as a new crop, and in retrospect, it still is. Only allowed to be grown in Canada since 1998, there haven’t been the decades of research and experience with hemp as with other crops. Jan Slaski, senior researcher with Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, based in Vegreville Alberta, says that southern… Read more »

Canola School: The trouble with flea beetles…

Less than ideal conditions have slowed down canola development and left the crop vulnerable to tiny 2.5 millimetre beetles in some areas this spring. Flea beetles are the number one pest in canola on the Western Canadian Prairies. In this Canola School episode, we talk with Tyler Wist, entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon, about how… 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 »