Category: Western Agronomy Podcast

Agronomy Geeks: Steve Larocque, Terry Aberhart, Orland Thompson

In Western Canada in 2016 there were some highs and very low lows of dry weather, too much rain, high crop tonnage and then a crazy harvest full of adversity that is yet to wrap up. At the recent Bayer Agronomy summit, Shaun Haney wrangled up an agronomy geeks panel of some real keeners. Joining… 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 West — Ep. 18: Short, Strong Straw You Spray On — All About PGRs

Plant breeding takes time. Significant amounts of it, in fact. While genetic resistance to things like diseases or pests or even built-in agronomic traits like standability are the ideal, a new wheat variety may take a decade to produce, and even then, still not meet all the needs of every farmer who grows it. In… 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 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 West — Ep.13: All You Didn’t Want to Know about Resistance Breakdown

If seeding early is the Robertson screw driver of the disease management tool box, genetic resistance is the giant sledge hammer — effective, reliable, easy to use. But unlike actual tools that do the same job over and over again, genetic resistance — that is, resistance to a disease or pest that’s built in to… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West, Ep. 12 — Don’t P in the Lake & Other Good Rules of Thumb

Managing for nitrogen losses in crop production is important, absolutely, but N isn’t the only nutrient at risk of being lost from the plant’s refrigerator. Phosphorus, that other macro-nutrient we know and love, is also subject to losses — and while losses may go relatively unnoticed in the cropping system, our lakes are rivers pay… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 11: Nitrogen Management for Corn in the North

Adopting warm season crops,  like corn, in cool season areas, like Western Canada, takes time, patience and adaptation. The first crucial step is access to shorter season varieties, which we’ve got, but from there the nutrient/pest/harvest management trial and error learning has to follow. Hear & download more Agronomy Geeks podcasts by clicking here Grain… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 10: Get More Out of Your Input Dollars & Tips for Specialty Crops

Contrary to what it looks like outside my window right now, it is officially spring. Eventually the snow will recede and the warmth will return and the ice and frost will disappear just long enough to eek out another crop from the prairie soil (apparently I wax poetic after 5 full months of winter). When… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 9: What’s Hurting Canola Yield Potential The Most?

What costs the canola crop the most in yield each year? Lack of fertility? Harvest losses? Spoilage in storage? Swath timing? The question isn’t actually entirely fair, as we can’t necessarily answer this question precisely, but we can most certainly start to stack up the evidence to support or refute each of these management areas’… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 8: Treat Your Winter Wheat Like it Made it

If it’s late May and your winter wheat crop is awake and starting to look good so you figure it’s time to top up the nitrogen, you’ve already missed the ideal window for a spring application. Plus, if you didn’t take care of winter annuals last fall, those tiny seedlings that over wintered took off… Read more »