Fertility and Nutrients
While applying fertilizer at the time of seeding has many benefits, it is important to use the right amount. Mark Cutts, crop specialist at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre, evaluates placement, impact, and types of fertilizer. “Applying too much fertilizer with the seed can impact crop emergence,” says Cutts. “To ensure seed-placed…
Times change and so do cropping practices, but century-old cropping system experiments continue to give back, thanks to the foresight of researchers who established and maintained the plots for more than 100 years. A recent analysis of nitrogen (N) inputs and removals found a surprising result in a long-term study…
Fertilize in fall or spring? That’s the question winter wheat growers face every year at seeding time. The Western Winter Wheat Initiative gives suggestions and inputs. | READ MORE
Fertilizer is a costly input needed to optimize crop production. Understanding how fertilizer reacts in soil is important to optimize use and efficiency to grow high yielding crops. It is also important for farmers to understand the short and long-term effects fertilizers can have on soil chemical and biological properties.
Corn is a heavy user of phosphorus (P) and is sensitive to zinc (Zn) deficiencies. In northern corn growing areas typical of the Canadian Prairies, early season cold soils may limit P availability, especially on soils with high residue cover. Additionally, corn following canola, which does not host arbuscular mycorrhizal…
Some Prairie farmers were fortunate enough to have good moisture conditions to band anhydrous ammonia or urea last fall to get a jump on spring seeding. But for the majority of farmers, dry conditions in many parts of the Prairies may mean adjustments to nitrogen (N) applications.
Nitrogen loss is real. University of Minnesota researcher Fabian Fernandez says growers could seriously shave the fertilizer budget by taking a different approach to nitrogen (N) applications.
Over the long-term, crop rotation, fertilizer strategies and management practices impact field productivity, nitrogen cycling and balance, and soil properties. These long-term practices also have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions such as nitrous oxide (N2O) and provide opportunities to reduce environmental Nitrogen (N) losses.
Overshadowed by variable rate nitrogen (N), variable rate phosphate (P) is coming to the forefront to help farmers get the biggest bang for the fertilizer dollar, as soils on the Prairies continue to decline in P fertility.
Crop growth and yield are strongly affected by sunlight, temperature and growing season precipitation. From a farmer’s perspective, temperature and water availability are the two most important environmental factors that affect crop production.
Soil phosphorus (P) occurs in many inorganic and organic forms. Only a very small portion of inorganic soil P is available for plant uptake, with none of the organic forms taken up directly by plant roots. Phosphorus is the most challenging of all the plant nutrients to understand, as it…
Nitrogen can present a dilemma for farmers and land managers.On one hand, it is an essential nutrient for crops.However, excess nitrogen in fertilizers can enter groundwater and pollute aquatic systems. This nitrogen, usually in the form of nitrate, can cause algal blooms. Microbes that decompose these algae can ultimately remove…
Sulphur fertilizer’s form, such as elemental sulphur, gypsum or ammonium sulphate, affects its behaviour in the soil and its availability to the plant. The best form depends on the situation. Factors such as soil and crop type, weather conditions and timing all come into play. A Saskatchewan study has evaluated…
Keeping a grass forage stand productive is difficult enough, but add in severely saline soils and the challenges are amplified. A three-year research trial at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Swift Current Research and Development Centre in Saskatchewan is looking at how a one-time application of nitrogen fertilizer could boost…
Like it or not (and believe in climate change or not), Canada has committed to greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions, and the implementation will affect farmers. Part of GHG mitigation will certainly revolve around reducing nitrogen (N) fertilizer losses.“Farmers already have production challenges with growing crops, and this will add…
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