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

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

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

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

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