Category: Seeding

How much yield potential do we lose planting after May 1?

It’s mid-April and a huge part of Western Canada, Ontario, and the northern U.S. is digging out after a late winter blast of snow, freezing rain, and ice. As May looms large in the next 14 days, we have to ask — when should we start to panic about a late planting season? May 1st… Read more »

Soybean School: Understanding iron deficiency chlorosis risk heading into planting

As planting decisions are finalized, the risk of iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is one of the factors soybean growers in Western Canada and the Northern Plains are keeping in mind after unprecedented yellowing due to IDC in many areas last year. A wet 2016 growing season followed by a dry start to 2017, left elevated… Read more »

Adjusting crop varieties to match field variability, not the field average

The resolution at which farm equipment can treat a field continues to shrink, automatically adjusting rates on-the-fly to account for variability in a field rather than treating an entire field the same. To use an inkjet printer analogy, today’s equipment is increasingly capable of “printing” pixels that are only metres or even centimetres in size rather than… Read more »

Aerial application on the rise in Ontario

Thinking about using an aerial applicator this year to fly on fungicide, fertilizer, or cover crops? If so, you better grab your phone and book a supplier, says Dan Haupt of Blenheim, ON, based Zimmer Air Services. The family-owned company, currently operated by Paul Zimmer, has been serving Ontario agriculture since 1974. Haupt says farmers… Read more »

Working with a rapidly-depleted soil moisture bank account

Soil moisture reserves from a wet year in 2016 carried the 2017 crop through a very dry summer across the southern Canadian prairies, enabling some better-than-expected yields, but also leaving the moisture bank account depleted heading into the 2018 growing season. The rapid transition from wet to dry has several implications for the upcoming season,… Read more »

Keys to growing soybeans for the first time

As Western Canadian farmers seek another crop to add to their rotations, seed and crop input suppliers are preparing for another increase in soybean acres on the prairies in 2018. The area where soybeans are being grown has expanded across much of Saskatchewan and into southern and central Alberta, creeping north of highway 16 near… Read more »

Canola School: A lesson on moisture conservation and knee-jerk reactions

With memories of combines getting stuck, high disease levels and all the problems that come with excess moisture fresh in many farmers’ minds, the dry conditions through much of Western Canada in 2017 were a sharp reminder of why moisture conservation is fundamental to farming on the prairies. “One of the key learnings from this… Read more »

New CEO named for Seed Hawk

Saskatchewan-based seeding equipment manufacturer Seed Hawk Inc. has a new chief executive officer. Nigel Jones, previously Seed Hawk’s vice president of operations and vice president of research & development, was appointed CEO effective October 24. “I am optimistic of a bright future as we build on a strong seeding season that has resulted in a… Read more »

Not too high, not too low — Bayer’s canola seeding rate findings

Canola has been referred to as the “Cinderella of the Prairies,” but the story of Goldilocks might also be relevant. Specifically when it comes to the discussion in the canola community lately about ideal plant populations — not too high, not too low, but just right. The Canola Council of Canada has developed a target… 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 »

TechTour: Manitoba farmer gives planters a new look

From the road, it looks like a custom-made air seeder pulled by a Big Bud four-wheel drive tractor. But after your eyes move on from the rare tractor, you might notice something else. Those look like planter row units mounted on the frame. Having grown corn and soybeans in the southwest corner of Manitoba near Waskada… Read more »

One-pass applications save time in a late spring

When unfavourable soil conditions arise, many growers look to one-pass applications to save time. One-pass seeding, however, isn’t just for when conditions are poor. In fact, a one-pass system can work for different soil conditions and areas, even when conditions are favourable. Ray Dowbenko, senior specialist of agronomy with Agrium, says that putting your seed and… Read more »

Soybean School: Monitor seed size variation between varieties and seed lots

The race is on in many areas — and hopefully soon will be in others — to get this year’s soybean crop in the ground. It’s critical to make some pit-stops along the way to adjust the planter or drill for optimum performance, as covered in this Soybean School episode. Seed size can vary widely,… Read more »

Canola School: Options for seeding canola in wet conditions

For some farmers in some southern parts of Western Canada, seeding is starting to wrap up. But others are still have the challenge of getting last year’s crop off, all while trying to get this year’s crop in the ground. In this Canola School episode, we talk to Brittany Hennig, agronomy specialist for the Canola Council of… 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 »