As many soybean growers are well aware, soybeans have a unique ability to biologically fix their own nitrogen (N) in a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria, Bradyrhizobium japonicum. Inoculant containing the bacteria can either be applied on the seed or to the soil at planing, and then as the crop is putting on vegetation and… Read More

A few of our pea fields looked a bit pale in comparison to the others earlier this season. The crop colour was off, and not just in low lying spots, as one might expect with all the moisture west central Saskatchewan has received. On further investigation, ruling out other reasons like fertility and plant stand,… Read More

A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. is expanding its diagnostic tool offering with the addition of a soil microbe test, VitTellus BioSM. The test quantifies soil microbial populations that have been shown to improve soil health and greater crop productivity, the company says. VitTellus BioSM utilizes selective carbon sources to measure the concentration of specific functional microbial… Read More

Soil compaction is always going to be a hot topic following a trying harvest season. That holds true for much of the eastern Prairies and northern U.S. states this spring. Aaron Daigh, assistant professor of Soil Physics at North Dakota State University says that the 2019 growing season started off wet in the spring, which… Read More

Should you plant soybeans shallow to get them out of the ground quickly, or plant deeper into more stable soil temperatures? The correct answer is likely somewhere in the middle says Horst Bohner, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, soybean specialist. He’s monitoring a series of planting date and seeding depth trials at… Read More

Are Ontario farmers doing a better job of getting phosphorus to stay put on their farms? Over the past decade, farmers, agronomists, researchers and governments have ramped up efforts to reduce the amount of phosphorus leaving farm fields and creating environmental challenges in areas such as the Lake Erie and Sainte-Claire watersheds. University of Waterloo… Read More

The McBlain family farm, located southeast of Brantford in Ontario’s Brant County, hasn’t seen a plow in a generation. Tyler McBlain’s grandfather started no-tilling back in the 1980s. Since that time the farm has gradually moved to a no-till system for soybeans and wheat while all corn is now produced in a strip till system…. Read More

Agronomically speaking, soil compaction is — and should be —at the forefront of farmers’ minds. RealAgriculture’s resident agronomist Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson isn’t new to speaking on or dealing with the topic, but as the years go on, there seems to be more solutions to dealing with compaction as we understand it more. The need… Read More

With 20 years of teaching and research achieved, Don Flaten says it’s time to retire. It’s a retirement well earned, as the soil scientist with the University of Manitoba has taught over a thousand students the ins and outs of soil, its importance, and revealed to many the complexity of nutrient interactions. Flaten has also… Read More

Regenerative, restorative, and climate-smart agriculture — they’re all terms with roots firmly planted in farmers’ commitment to improving soil heath. Farmers who subscribe to these philosophies typically commit to five core practices: minimizing soil disturbance, maximizing soil diversity, keeping soil covered, maintaining living roots year-round, and integrating livestock. But how quickly should farmers be integrating… Read More

When Bloomfield, Ont. farmer Tyler Lester started planting cover crops, the goal was to help keep livestock out of pea crops to address food safety concerns raised by vegetable crop customers. With a healthy deer and wild turkey population that too often ventured into the crops, Lester and his family hatched a strategy to plant… Read More