Soils

composting

Short term legacy effects of feedlot manure

Research was conducted in southern Alberta to look at the effects of long term feedlot manure application on irrigated barley yield, macronutrient supply, earthworm abundance, and water extractable carbon in a clay loam soil. Two to 3 years after manure application was stopped, barley silage…

triple shoot

Placement outside the seed row is fine for phosphate

Placing phosphate fertilizer in the seed row has its challenges because seed damage can occur at fairly low rates. Rather than short the crop with a low seed-placed rate, this study found that the full recommended rate placed outside the seed row is the better…

banding N

Canola yields lower with fall surface-placement of nitrogen

This Manitoba study found that nitrogen source did not affect canola yield, but fertilizer placement did. Fall surface application of granular urea and enhanced efficiency fertilizer products produced lower yield (13 bu./ac.) than spring surface applications of the same products. For spring applications, surface placement…

banding N

Band nitrogen to reduce losses, improve NUE

This one-year study supports previous recommendations that in-soil banding of nitrogen fertilizers during seeding or near to the time of seeding is a best management practice to enhance nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). Increasing farm size in western Canada has led many farmers to move back…

cultivator

Heavy tillage on moist fields increases compaction, reduces yield

Heavy tillage
 can increase soil compaction, reduce soil strength
 and reduce
 canola yields, especially when carried out under higher moisture conditions and in the spring, prior
 to planting. Excessive precipitation and limited drying weather around the time of various field operations (ex. seeding, input application…

black medic

Black medic cover crop improves soil stability

Generally, a black medic cover crop reduced the proportion of small aggregates and increased the proportion of large aggregates. Medic offers a natural way to maintain soil health in low external input cropping systems. Black medic is a self-regenerating cover crop that grows under the…

seedling canola

Foliar-applied P can help with in-season deficiency

While this Saskatchewan study did show a yield response for foliar-applied phosphorus (P) when compared to a control without any P fertilizer, the best practice is still to meet crop needs with fertilizer applications before or at the time of seeding. This study evaluated the…

wheat fertigation

Fertigation of wheat and canola

In canola, the net return with the full rate of nitrogen side-banded at seeding was always greater than the same rate split-applied as side-banded N and fertigation. In HRSW spring wheat, late-season in-crop applications of N by fertigation could be used to boost grain protein,…

faba bean nodules

Pulse crops differ in nitrogen fixation dynamics

The research suggests that improving pulse nitrogen fixation by targeting an increase in nodule numbers and nodule biomass could help improve long term cropping sustainability and reduce reliance on inorganic N fertilizer. In addition, developing pulse varieties with improved water-stress tolerance may improve the N-fixation…

Lentil close-up

Seedrow starter fertilizer for pulses

Sensitivity of pulse crops to seedrow placed nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur fertilizer products was lentil > pea ~ chickpea > soybean ~ black bean > faba bean. Overall and under good moisture conditions, a maximum of 10 kg N/ha rate as starter in the seedrow…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 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…

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…