Category: Soil

Corn School: Aqua-Till trades coulter for water jet

Ever consider replacing your planter disc openers with high-pressured water jets? The concept is called aqua-till. The idea has been pioneered by the South Australian NoTill Farmers Association (SANTFA). Earlier this week, SANTFA research and development manager Greg Butler traveled north to Ontario to showcase the technology for farmers attending the annual FarmSmart Expo near… Read more »

Wheat School: ‘Real’ Wheat Farmers — Parkland Farms

Average yields of 110 to 115 bushels per acre on soil that is often more than 60 percent clay? That’s impressive. And that’s why Parkland Farms is featured on our latest episode of ‘Real’ Wheat Farmers. In this video, RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson peppers Parkland Farms agronomist Clark Aitken with questions on how the Lambton… Read more »

Wheat School: Assessing the impact of drought in winter wheat

Much of Ontario’s winter wheat has fallen victim to hot, dry, June growing conditions, and yields will likely suffer, reports RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson. On this episode of the Wheat School, Johnson describes how drought-like growing conditions that brought high temperatures (34 degree days, 24 degree nights) and high winds for the better part of a… Read more »

Soybean School: Scout to evaluate your stand and when to go rolling

What’s your strategy when scouting a newly emerged soybean field? When Agromart Group agronomist Steph Kowalski walks into a soybean field this time of year, the first thing she looks to assess is final emergence and population. “It’s important to know how well we got that seed into the ground,” Kowalski tells RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin… Read more »

Fertilizer Canada launches new 4R designation toolkit

Canadian ag retailers have a new tool to help their farmer customers adopt 4R nutrient stewardship practices. With the launch of Fertilizer Canada’s new 4R designation toolkit, the industry organization says it will be easier for retailers to support farmers as they work to enhance management practices with the principles of 4R nutrient stewardship – a globally recognized, Canadian-made… Read more »

TechTour: Automatically adjusting spread patterns for wind, terrain, and fertilizer type

Spreading fertilizer can feel like a bit of a guessing game when it comes to knowing just how wide of a spray pattern is produced. Coverage depends on the type of fertilizer in the hopper, the terrain, and also, how much wind impacts the spray pattern. But Amazone claims it offers solutions to each of… Read more »

Ontario’s Soil Health Strategy: a 12-year roadmap with short-term funding

Ontario has released its provincial soil health strategy, a long-term framework that sets the vision, goals, and objectives for soil health and conservation in Ontario beginning this year and through to 2030. A 12-year strategy is lengthy in government program terms, but hardly a blip when we’re talking soil health, research, and improvement. Can Ontario… Read more »

Ontario ag retailers make 4R stewardship a priority

Ontario ag retailers need to provide leadership in helping farmers adopt 4R nutrient stewardship and a new audit program can do just that, says AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan. In 2015, OMAFRA, the Ontario Agri Business Association, Fertilizer Canada, and ag retailer stakeholders signed a memorandum of understanding stating that 4R nutrient stewardship – right source,… Read more »

Kinze tackles tillage with high-speed Mach Till disc

Kinze Manufacturing is adding tillage equipment to its planters and grain cart lineup. The company has teamed up with Saskatchewan-based Degelman Industries to market the new Mach Till high-speed disc. Susanne Veatch, Kinze’s president and chief marketing officer says the Mach Till is best described as “hybrid horizontal tillage” rather than vertical tillage. “The Mach Till… Read more »

Treat your soil like an Olympic athlete for peak performance

What do Canadian speed skater Kim Boutin and your soil have in common? They both prosper and succeed when you treat them like an Olympic athlete. Boutin’s Olympic training earned her three medals at the recently-concluded Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. What would happen if farmers treated their soil like an Olympic athlete? Soil… Read more »

Following successful pilot project, Ontario Soil Network to continue

When you want to learn about a new farming practice, where do you turn? Yes, there are conferences and field days, but many farmers have also had great success with social media platforms that easily connect farmers over large distances. We also know that some things are better discussed, explained, shared, and questioned in person,… Read more »

Cover crops and livestock trampling ‘part of the rotation equation’

A ‘good rotation’ is often thought of as a cropping plan that involves diverse species, cultivars, and chemical actives. But that definition may be expanding, thanks to an ever-evolving understanding of soil health. “When you look at that environment, you kind of come down to five principles on soil health,” says United States Department Agriculture… Read more »

Keeping cover crops out of tile drains

Will the growth of cover crops lead to an explosion of plugged tile drains? According to Ohio State professor and farm drainage specialist Dr. Larry Brown, there’s little evidence to suggest that cover crops are going to cause drainage headaches for farmers. At the recent Ontario Certified Crop Advisors annual meeting, Brown says he often gets… Read more »

Connections key to building soil organic matter

There’s consensus that healthy soils with higher organic matter deliver a range of benefits from supplying nutrients, to building soil structure, to increasing water-holding capacity, and reducing erosion. But are enough farmers taking the required steps to increase soil health and organic matter? United States Department of Agriculture research agronomist Shannon Osbourne believes a stronger working… Read more »

New research shows cover crops support higher yields

Many farmers understand the benefits cover crops can bring to their operation. From reduced soil erosion to improved soil structure, nutrient recycling, moisture retention and much more – the list of benefits is long and impressive. But how do cover crops impact yield? Do all these benefits add up to higher production and a better… Read more »