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The Red Book on macronutrients: Read about fertility research dating back to the early 1900s.  The Red Book – ‘Impact of macronutrients on crop responses and environmental sustainability on the Canadian Prairies’ – is the basis for many of today’s fertility recommendations. Read it. 

In a new, 2019 review of P fertility research, 4R Management of Phosphorus Fertilizer in the Northern Great Plains: A review of the Scientific Literature, the authors built upon the Red Book’s Chapter 2 on Phosphorus by incorporating research conducted since 1993, and aligning the research review with 4R principles.

seedling flax

Flax response to N and P fertilizer

On sites testing low in nitrogen (N) fertility, flax yields were 39% higher with rates of 90 lbs. N side-banded per acre. Flax response to phosphorus (P) averaged 7% and rates of no more than 18 to 36 side-banded P2O5 per acre were justified. Phosphorus…

grain bagging

Storing tough and damp canola in grain bags

Dry canola seeds can be safely stored for up to 6 to 8 months in grain bags, but 12% moisture canola should only be stored for less than 5 months. Canola seeds above 12% moisture content should only be stored for 3 to 4 weeks…

unloading wheat

Building phosphorus fertility

Over six years the highest wheat yields were achieved where a medium-high soil phosphorus (P) level (15 ppm) was achieved with an initial broadcast application of 327 pounds P2O5 per acre. On soils with very low P fertility, yields were four to five bushels lower…

P banding

4R management of phosphorus fertilizer

To achieve 4R principles, placing ammonium phosphate fertilizer in a band, in or near the seed-row, at the time of seeding and at a rate that matches P removal by the crop generally provides the greatest P efficiency, long-term sustainability, and environmental protection for small…

red lentil plots

Agronomic practices for red lentil in Alberta

High lentil productivity was attained in all major soil zones and agroclimatic zones in Alberta. Plant stand density, inoculation, nitrogen management, and weed control recommendations were found to be similar to Saskatchewan. Field trials were conducted at five locations over four years from 2012 through…

Spray pea stubble

Stubble options for winter wheat

Barley silage and pea stubbles were identified as high-yielding alternatives with higher protein and greater stability compared to canola stubble in the Black soil zone. Barley grain stubble was identified as intermediate stubble option while oat stubble was a poor option. Research was conducted to…

ww seeding

Nitrogen management strategies for winter wheat

Split applications of N usually provided the maximum yield and protein, particularly with Agrotain or SuperU. This study consisted of two experiments each conducted at five sites across western Canada at Brandon, Manitoba, Hallonquist (south of Swift Current), Saskatchewan, and Lethbridge and Lacombe, Alberta to…

ww stand establishment

Winter wheat stand establishment strategies

Two research studies investigated best management practices for winter wheat stand establishment at 26 sites over three years across western Canada. A strong, integrated agronomic system with high seed rate near 40 plants per square foot, a dual fungicide/insecticide seed treatment, and vigorous seed provided…

Resistant kochia

Triple herbicide-resistant kochia control

A kochia survey in southern Alberta in 2017 found that all kochia populations were resistant to Group 2 ALS inhibitors, 50% of populations were resistant to Group 9 glyphosate, and 18% of populations resistant to Group 4 (dicamba) herbicides. Kochia populations with triple resistance to…

AC Saltlander foxtail barley

Control foxtail barley and downy brome on saline soils

Where the saline forage site contained root zone salinity approaching severe, the best forage control treatments were AC Saltlander green wheatgrass seeded on 15 or 30.5 cm row spacing. The next best option was alternating rows of AC Saltlander green wheatgrass with slender wheatgrass seeded…

assessing flax

Assessing flax tolerance to new herbicides

Of the seven unregistered herbicides assessed, flax has excellent crop tolerance to fluthiacet-methyl, pyroxasulfone, and topramezone. Flumioxazin caused severe crop damage in high moisture situations and is not recommended for further trials. Field experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 at the Kernen Research Farm…

oat leaf blotch

Breeding for oat leaf blotch resistance

A 4-year research project at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre set the platform that will assist plant breeders in developing leaf blotch resistant oat varieties. Growing resistant varieties in combination with adequate crop rotation intervals will be the most effective, economical and eco-friendly…

frost damage varieties

Frost tolerance of faba bean varieties

Tannin-containing faba bean varieties had less frost-damaged seed after a frost event compared to zero-tannin varieties. Yield and Thousand Seed Weight (TSW) declined with increasing frost damage for both variety types. Ten faba bean varieties were assessed after a frost event that occurred during the…

Russian thistle

Group 2 resistant Russian thistle increasing

Of 45 Russian thistle populations tested from central and southern Alberta in 2017, 31 (62%) were Group 2 (ALS inhibitor) resistant. No populations exhibited resistance to Group 9 (glyphosate). A random survey of Russian thistle was conducted post-harvest in fall, 2017. A total of 45…

Clubroot galls

Evaluation of clubroot disinfectants

Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) was most effective in killing clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) spores at concentrations above 1.7%. Spray Nine was almost as effective, while 5 other products achieved greater than 95% control. Sanitation of equipment, vehicles, scouting tools and footwear is an important part of preventing…

Oat seed size trial

Large oat seed improves emergence, vigour and yield

Seeding large seeded oats improved early season oat biomass by 16% and 29% at two locations in eastern Saskatchewan. Large seeded oats also improved wild oat competition and resulted in 4 days earlier maturity. Yield was 8% higher at one site with large seed. Field…

soybean phospphorus plots

Phosphorus management for Saskatchewan soybeans

Seed-placed rates of up to 35 lbs. P2O5 per acre (40 kg P2O5/ha) were safe across a wide range of conditions. However, seedrow safety was hard to predict, so sideband is still the preferred method for high P application rates. When soil test P levels…

Sask Soybean N

Nitrogen management options for Saskatchewan soybeans

On land without a history of soybeans, dual inoculant provided a 24% yield benefit with an overall yield increase of 7 bu./acre (500 kg/ha). Starter N provided little yield benefit when good N-fixation was achieved. In-season N application could be used to rescue a poorly…

Inter-row pea

Inter-row seeding into wheat stubble improves field pea standability

Inter-row seeding field pea into 8 to 12 inch (20 to 30 cm) tall wheat stubble significantly improved standability between 6 to 23% when lodging occurred, and would be a low cost method of improving pea harvestability. The three plant growth regulators compared were of…

downy brome

Controlling Japanese and downy brome

Field trials found pyroxasulfone (Focus), pyroxasulfone + flumioxazin (Fierce), and pyroxsulam (Simplicity) provided effective control of Japanese and downy brome in winter wheat. Trials were established at Lethbridge and Kipp, Alberta, and Scott, Saskatchewan, over three growing seasons to compare herbicides for control of downy…

Lentil field

Replace fallow with pulses to improve water- and N-use efficiency

In a 3-year crop rotation, replacing summerfallow with a pulse crop increased total grain production by 35.5%, improved protein yield by 51%, and enhanced fertilizer-N use efficiency by 33%. A 3-year crop sequence study was repeated five times (five cycles) from 2005 to 2011 at…

wheat stem sawfly and Bracon cephi

Reduce wheat stem sawfly impact with lower seeding rate in solid-stemmed wheat

Seed solid-stemmed CWRS and CNHR wheat varieties at 30 to 35 seeds per square foot to maximize stem solidness and reduce the impact of wheat stem sawfly. For hollow-stemmed CWRS varieties and durum wheat, seed at 40 to 45 seeds per square foot. Growing solid-stemmed…

R. solani disease ratings

Soybean disease reaction and yield loss to Rhizoctonia solani

Seedling blight and root rot in soil-inoculated Rhizoctonia solani plots decreased soybean stand establishment by 48% and reduced yield by 52% compared to control plots with low levels of R. solani. No significant differences in disease severity, nodulation or yield loss were observed among the…

Cabbage seedpod weevil flower

Impact of cabbage seedpod weevil control on Lygus bug

Research in southern Alberta found that canola fields seeded in April were the most susceptible to cabbage seedpod weevil. A new action threshold of 25 to 40 cabbage seedpod weevils per 10 sweeps at early flowering stage was developed. When cabbage seedpod weevil populations were…

Wild oat head

Over 50% of Alberta fields have herbicide resistant wild oats

Wild oat resistance has increased over three surveys conducted since 2001. In surveyed fields where wild oats were found, Group 1 wild oat resistance increased in Alberta from 11% in 2001 to 58% in 2017. In 2017, 247 fields were randomly surveyed across Alberta prior…

lygus bug on faba bean pod copy

Faba bean seed damage by lygus bug and chocolate spot

Lygus bug and chocolate spot disease can damage faba bean seed. Research found both organisms are widespread in central and southern Alberta. Seed damage occurs independently of each other, and is primarily caused by lygus bug. Seed damage caused by lygus bug (Lygus spp.) or…

clubroot canola roots

Clubroot spore load reduced by 90% with a two-year canola break

A break from susceptible canola of at least 2 years resulted in more than 90% reduction in clubroot pathogen resting spores compared to continuous canola or a 1-year break. Clubroot resistant varieties grown with a 2- to 4-year break yielded 32 to 76% higher than…

wild oat panicles

Triallate-resistant wild oats also cross resistant to four other Groups

Herbicide screening studies on triallate-resistant (Group 8) wild oats found cross-resistance to Group 1 and Group 2 herbicides. Additionally, unexpected resistance to Group 14 and Group 15 herbicides was found even though the wild oats had never been previously exposed to these herbicides. Two relatively…

alfalfa bales

Higher wheat and canola yield after two years of legume forages

Wheat yield was up to 45% higher after two years of alfalfa and up to 60% higher after two years of red clover compared to barley-flax rotations. The yield advantage carried over into the second year with up to 55% higher canola yield after the…

Lentil field

Apply Clearfield lentil herbicides at the five to six node stage

The critical weed free period for lentil starts at the five-node stage and lasts until the 10-node stage. Research found that applying Clearfield herbicides to lentils at the five- to six-node stage provided the best weed control and highest yield. Two research studies conducted at…

Lentil close up

Nitrogen fixation varies between and within pulse crops

At Swift Current, Saskatchewan, faba beans fixed 60 pounds of nitrogen (N) per acre followed by field pea at almost 50 lbs., chickpea at 46 lbs., lentil at 44 lbs., and dry bean lagging behind at 8.3 lbs. But there were varietal differences within each…

severe blackleg in canola field

Blackleg severity and yield loss in canola

For every 1-unit increase in disease severity rating on a scale of 1 to 5, yield loss in a susceptible variety was 17.2% and pod loss was 13.0%. Disease severity was lower and seed yield was 120% to 128% higher in the moderately resistant to…

mature pea field

Higher canola and wheat yields with diverse rotations

Averaged over 6 years from 2010 to 2015, growing canola in rotation with other crops produced 19.4% (9.4 bu/ac) higher yield over continuous canola. Wheat yields were 4.7 bu/ac (7.2%) higher than continuous wheat. When a rotation included pea once every three years, a saving…

feed barley plots

9.3% higher feed barley yield with advanced agronomic practices

Research in Alberta found that advanced agronomic practices, including supplemental post-emergent nitrogen (N) fertilizer, a growth regulator, and dual foliar fungicide applications, contributed to higher feed barley yield when growing season precipitation was not limiting. Combined, the advanced agronomic practices produced an average of 9.3%…

wild oat in tame oat

Improving tame oat competitiveness with wild oat

Seed 35 seeds per square foot and apply at least 13.4 lbs. P205 per acre to improve wild oat competitiveness and increase tame oat yield. A three-year study was conducted at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Indian Head to determine if side-banded phosphorus (P) in combination…

combine wheat header

Diverse crop rotations return up to $45 per acre more

Diverse crop rotations had similar net returns to canola-wheat rotations one-half the time and up to $45 per acre more the rest of the time. Adding integrated weed management practices without relying on wild oat herbicides resulted in similar wild oat pressure as canola-wheat rotations….

wheat stem sawfly larvae

Wheat stem sawfly control in durum wheat

Seed at least 40 seeds per square foot (400 seeds per metre square) for optimum yield and wheat stem sawfly management when growing solid- or hollow-stemmed durum wheat varieties. The foundation for reducing yield loss from wheat stem sawfly (Cephus cinctus) in wheat varieties is…

mature soybean

Assessing soybean rotational benefits

Soybeans provide similar rotational benefits as pea and lentil on subsequent wheat and canola crops – but keep an eye on phosphorus fertility. Nutrient uptake, removal and rotational benefits have been frequently studied for pea and lentil in western Canada. Research at the University of…

Mature peas

Reduce nitrogen fertilizer by 25% with pulses in rotation

Maintain canola and malt barley yield and quality with 25% less nitrogen (N) fertilizer with pulses in rotation. A three year study at seven locations in western Canada looked at the impact of crop rotation and nitrogen rate on canola and malt barley yield and…

wild oat

Our Top 10 herbicide-resistant weed management practices

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientists Hugh J. Beckie and K Neil Harker identified herbicide-resistant weed management practices that have the most impact on managing herbicide selection pressure. Their top 10 management practices are based on research and growers’ experiences over the last 30 years.

canola field blooming

Up to 32% higher yield with uniform canola stand establishment

Spatially uniform plant stands increased canola yield by up to 32 per cent at low-yielding sites and by up to 21 per cent at high yielding sites compared to non-uniform plant stands. Research by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientist Yantai Gan shows the importance…

clubroot galls

Basamid fumigant is a potential tool for clubroot control

Basamid (dazomet) soil-applied fumigant was effective against clubroot and seedling blight in canola. Basamid appears to have good potential as a tool to maintain canola yield and reduce the spread of clubroot where the disease is concentrated, usually at field entrances. Clubroot, caused by the…