GFM Network News

Kristen MacMillan says interactions such as bean type, variety, inoculant type and environment can affect how edible beans interact with the N in the soil.

How much N? A soil test isn’t the only answer

Different crops, different varieties, different inoculants, and different soil environments all affect the N-application decision these days

Reading Time: 5 minutes You need to know two things to calculate your nitrogen application — the crop requirement and the available N in the soil. At least that used to be the case, but it’s not now, not since pulse crops have become such an important part of the rotation. When it comes to fixing N, not all […] Read more

Five Q and As on soil testing

Five Q and As on soil testing

Here’s what you need to know to make sure your plants have all the right nutrients

Soil testing will help you give your crop the best possible start. Dr. Jeff Schoenau, soil fertility expert at the University of Saskatchewan, delivered a free webinar on soil earlier this winter. Schoenau had answers to five common questions about soil testing and fertility.

Dairy producer Alain Rouleau (l) and Logiag vice-president Jacques Nault describe how each soil sample is georeferenced.

Soil testing by laser beam

A Quebec company has developed a soil-test system using laser technology that reports more accurate results in just three days

Reading Time: 4 minutes Iké Nault regularly stops his ATV on a 25-acre freshly cut hayfield belonging to a producer from Howick, 30 kilometres south of Montreal. Probe in hand, the young technician methodically collects soil samples. Each stop is georeferenced as a green dot on a field map on his cellphone screen. It really is “space age” technology,[...]
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Rapeseed field and sun

Lessons learned from the last crop

It pays to do some ‘regressive analysis’ to see if some practice or treatment helped a crop excel even under adverse conditions

Reading Time: 3 minutes Yield results aren’t necessarily the end of the story, says a longtime western Canadian agrologist who recommends farmers get more scientific about how they use those yield numbers as a reference point for examining the past season, and for planning the next year. Increasingly, data analysis will drive crop production, says Rob Saik, who founded[...]
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The dirt on soil tests

The dirt on soil tests

With soil nutrient levels dropping, how do you need to change your soil-testing program and fertility rates?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Fewer farmers are sampling their soils. In Ontario, the numbers say fewer than 30 per cent of farmers test every three years, even though this trend is leading to a data gap at a time when everything else seems to be changing too, such as the rapid climb in yield potentials, and elite corn hybrids[...]
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soybean test plots

Exploring the soybean nutrient cycle

New research aims to end the guessing on fertilizing soybean rotations

Reading Time: 4 minutes If you had asked Saskatchewan farmers 25 years ago if they thought they could grow soybean, they would likely have laughed out loud at the very idea. Fast-forward to today, however, and StatsCan says 300,000 acres of soybeans were planted in Saskatchewan last year, up from 170,000 acres in 2013, and the province’s soy acreage[...]
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man standing in a crop field

Is your soil lacking phosphorous? How to diagnose nutrient deficiency

Phosphorus deficiency is hard to identify and often goes unnoticed — even when significant yield loss can be occurring. Will an extra 20 lbs./ac. of phosphate pay off?

Reading Time: 7 minutes Soil phosphorus levels are critically low in more and more fields. These fields may no longer provide enough phosphorus for crops to reach their yield potential, which means the solution to yield stagnation — on some fields, at least — could be plain old boring phosphate. Canola takes up around 1.5 pounds of phosphate per[...]
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corn crop

The 4R crop nutrient solution

Here’s an approach to keep consumers happy, and to boost farmers’ productivity too

Reading Time: 5 minutes Most growers have heard of “The 4Rs” and they know it stands for applying the right source at the right rate, at the right time and to the right place. But there’s still a long way to go to actually implement the concept. “It seems the time was right for a concept that helped explain[...]
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Precision ag lets you grow crops the way 
Wayne Gretzky played hockey, Duncan says. 
Instead of chasing the puck, you put yourself 
where you can intercept it.

Precision ag ready for big time

After two decades of development, farm technology has finally caught up with the opportunity to shave inputs and drive yields

Reading Time: 5 minutes An old cartoon shows two scientists standing at a ship’s rail, gazing out over the beauty of the horizon. In a reflective moment, one extends his arm, motions to the setting sun and says to the other: “Ever thought about all that data out there just yearning to be processed?” Substitute a couple of modern[...]
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Profit thieves

A persistent and insidious crop pest could be chewing away at your profits year after year

Reading Time: 3 minutes What’s three-quarters of an inch long, hard-bodied, yellowish brown, lives in the soil, and may be secretly chewing away at your profits? Wireworms… even their name is descriptive. Wireworms are the larval stage of the adult click beetle, and while the beetles do no damage, the same can’t be said about their offspring. The click[...]
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