There are advisory snippets for the coming season
By Ralph Pearce
By mid-January, after the third of our six winter and spring issues have been
received by readers, we begin getting telephone calls and e-mails with ideas
and suggestions for feature stories as well as some hints on what readers would
like to see within those stories.
Also, there are advisory snippets for the coming season, like this one from
a certified crop advisor: "We need to emphasize the importance of seed
testing on any saved seed. There may be some surprises out there!" That
got me wondering about seed quality and whether questionable germination or
vigour might be a good reason to switch to certified seed anyway, for the extra
The next call took the idea one step further: commenting on a published story
about the additional yield potential of hybrid alfalfa. "If the crop can
produce 25 percent more yield, you have to remember to apply the nutrients it
will need to meet that potential; and, to make sure those nutrients are going
to be available the first year, you need to plan for it. It's like the difference
between having an Angus and a Charolais in the feedlot: you only get the additional
gain from the Charolais if it gets more feed." This caller added that with
crops, it is not so much the soil, but the fertility the soil makes available,
that results in crop output. Well said!
Our third comment came from a presenter at one of the many winter meetings
across western Canada. This presenter had seen a story in Top Crop Manager
that inspired him to dig deeper into the subject of his talk. If the stories
we publish get you thinking, then we're pleased and determined to provide more
of the same in the future!
Peter Darbishire, Editor
Diligence on soybean rust
By the start of 2005, most producers had heard the news about soybean rust
and its arrival on North American soil.
The chronology of its movement into nine American states has been documented
thoroughly, as has speculation as to whether it will be a problem to growers
in Ontario later in the year.
As many specialists observe, "It is no longer a question of 'if', but
'when' soybean rust appears in this country." The lead story in this issue
of Top Crop Manager examines various aspects of soybean rust.