Tag: Marla Riekman

Canola School: Confronting the topic of compaction

Soil compaction — as many other topics and issues in agriculture — has no simple solution. Marla Riekman, soil management specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, says in this Canola School episode that soil compaction is “one of the hardest topics to discuss with farmers.” She says this is because the easiest solution is to stay off the field,… Read more »

Tires Versus Tracks: The Compaction Angle

A wet harvest has led some Western Canadian farmers to make the switch from tires to tracks on combines, tractors and grain carts. “The tracks are going to give you the decrease in slippage and a bit of extra floatation, and that’s what people are looking for right now,” notes Marla Riekman, soil management specialist with… Read more »

Canola School: Fixing Up Harvest Ruts

Wet conditions at harvest inevitably result in a mess, as heavy combines and grain carts leave their mark in the soft soil. With above normal rainfall extending into harvest in parts of Western Canada, we’re seeing some deep ruts and serious compaction from harvest equipment. “That wheel traffic compaction can go as deep as three… Read more »

What Underwear Can or Cannot Tell You About Soil Health

Soil microbes require carbon to grow. And they’re not picky where that carbon comes from. To demonstrate microbial activity as it relates to soil health, Manitoba Agriculture soil management specialist Marla Riekman and some colleagues buried what she calls “an indicator material” in various locations this spring. Their material of choice: cotton, specifically the soft,… Read more »

Ladies & Gentlemen, Welcome to the 4R Nutrient Casino

Farmers are dealt a hand of cards each year. There are cards of fortune and cards of misfortune. Maybe it’s a wet spring or corn prices below $4/bu or skyrocketing fertilizer costs. Maybe you get all three in the same hand. A farmer can’t always choose what they’re dealt, but they can choose how to respond…. Read more »

Corn School West: The Greenseeker, N-Rate Ramps & An App for Readings

There’s a difference between new technology that becomes a useful tool and new technology that’s just a toy. The difference is largely in the practical application of what any given technology makes possible. Exhibit A: the smartphone — great and powerful technology, but likely also overwhelmingly used to share silly cat videos and status updates…. Read more »