Category: Agronomy Geeks

Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 17: The Yield Impact of Wet Feet

There’s no two ways about it — huge swaths of Ontario’s growing region is now excessively wet. And not, “Hey, that was a heavy rainstorm!” wet, but soaked-right-through-for-the-third-time wet. With all this water, farmers are understandably nervous about what impact wet soil and standing water may have on the yield of the corn and soybean… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 16: How Application, Tile Runs and Tillage Impact Phosphorus Losses

Phosphorus is essential for growing crops, but it becomes a pollutant when too much of it moves into waterways, including major water bodies like Lake Erie. How climate and management practices, such as tile drainage and tillage, impact the movement of nutrients from farm fields into the water system is the focus of much of… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 15: Agronomy Proof Your Crop Plan

You can’t change the weather and you can’t influence crop prices, but you can agronomy proof your crop plan, says Deb Campbell, agronomist with Agronomy Advantage. As winter ever so slowly releases its grip on Ontario, Campbell says farmers can do plenty of planning now to tip yield in their favour, but it’s going to… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 21: Defining “Intermediate Resistance” to Clubroot, and Why a Resistant Variety Can’t Replace a Longer Rotation

Crop rotation remains the most powerful tool in the fight against clubroot disease in Western Canadian canola fields, even with new resistant varieties being brought to market. As part of this episode of the Agronomy Geeks West podcast, host Lyndsey Smith caught up with Dr. Stephen Strelkov of the University of Alberta. His work documenting… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 20: Looking Ahead by Taking Stock: Research Capacity in Western Canada

What do you think is the largest opportunity for agronomic research in Western Canada? What are the biggest holdups? What’s the capacity now and going forward? These are big questions, and questions that deserve an answer. Until recently, though, many discussions about the future of agronomic research in Western Canada stopped at the question of… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 19: How Long it Takes To Make Soil (Hint: Too Long)

If you’ve noticed soil getting a whole lot more attention lately, it’s for good reason. Not only are scientists beginning to unlock many of the mysteries of what lies beneath, but agriculture has also started to wake up to the importance and potential of soil management on yield. Farmers have always known that soil is… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 13: What We’re Learning About Northern Corn Leaf Blight

Just like there are many strains of the common cold and the flu, plant diseases can be caused by “races” of the same pathogen. Northern corn leaf blight is one disease that has at least 13 strains — four to six of which affect corn crops in Ontario. In this episode of the Agronomy Geeks… Read more »

Ontario Agronomy Geeks — Ep. 12: Putting Data to Work on the Farm

Farmers have been collecting data since the first yield maps appeared 20 to 30 years ago. The promise then was that farmers would be able to turn data into management decisions that would benefit their bottom line. For most farmers, though, that has yet to happen. In this episode of the Agronomy Geeks Ontario podcast,… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 17: Who Wants a 50 lb/acre N Credit?

Here’s a fun question: what nitrogen recommendations do you follow? Do you vary it by crop type or by field, ie. do you have a “canola blend”? Do you use tried-and-true removal rates compared against a current soil sample analysis? Or do you work backwards from a target yield? No matter which way you currently… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep.16: The Ins and Outs of Intercropping

I’ve seen my share of unintentional intercrop — lentils and mustard that just HAD to grow together, I guess (I call that one ‘lustard’) — but did you know there may be very profitable reasons to intentionally grow two crops on the same land in the same year? While intercropping is not rare on a… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 11: Fending off Fungicide Resistance, Plus New Threats to Watch For

The disease pressure landscape changes as the season progresses and from year to year, but there are always the endemic threats that farmers have to manage for. Part of the disease scouting process includes knowing what to look for, including some new or rare pests that could be making their way into your growing region…. Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 15: Cutworms and Wireworms and Spraying, Oh My!

The first few weeks’ of crop growth are critical for two things — one, evaluating your seeding or planting pass; and, two, providing timely protection for the crop at its most vulnerable stage. In this special version of the Agronomy Geeks podcast, I’m joined by Brunel Sabourin, agronomic advisor with Cargill based at Morris, Man…. Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 14: Spread the (Variety) Love, Not the Clubroot

I promise at some point to jump off this Rotation Bandwagon and start talking about something else agronomy-related, but for now, humour me while I beat this ailing-but-still-alive-but-just-barely horse. Where was I? Oh, yes. Rotation. In my last podcast, featuring Randy Kutcher, we learned many things about plant pathology — how genetic resistance to a… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks Ontario — Ep. 9: When to Switch To Lower CHU Hybrids

As May ticks away, farmers in Ontario continue to wrestle with difficult planting conditions. In this episode of the Agronomy Geeks Ontario podcast, Bernard Tobin and Syngenta agronomic sales manager Shawn Brenneman discuss the pace of #plant14 and the decisions farmers are facing. As of May 21, Brenneman estimates that 40 to 50 percent of… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks Ontario —Ep. 8: Tillage Strategies for a Wet Spring

As the cool, wet spring drags on in Ontario, many farmers are wrestling with whether they have time for tillage or should they just plant as soon as the soil is fit. In this episode of the Agronomy Geeks Ontario podcast, Bernard Tobin talks tillage strategy with Salford Farm Machinery’s Jim Boak. Are certain types… Read more »