The 2020 Field of Excellence project focuses on wheat and canola. These two crops are seeded over 180 acres, where various types of data are collected and processed. The main objective of the project is to utilize various data layers to inform management decisions throughout the growing season. One area of focus will be the use of this data to inform the development and implementation of Variable-Rate (VR) input applications.
We will focus on the application of VR seed and fertilizer at the seeding stage and VR top-dress nitrogen application in-season. The rates of the in-season application will be informed by real-time soil moisture probe and environmental data, which will be used to model the crop’s water-driven yield potential. Informed conclusions regarding VR herbicide and fungicide applications will also be drawn. Confirmed industry partners in this project include Nutrien Ag Solutions, Proven Seed, Loveland Products, CropPro Consulting, METOS Canada, Equipment Technologies, Vaderstad, and Canada West Harvest Centre.
In 2019, the Field of Excellence program included a canola agronomy trial and a wheat fertility trial, both carried out with partners positioned at various points in the crop-production cycle including seed suppliers, equipment manufacturers and crop protection companies.
The agronomy trial recognizes farmers’ interest in canola and the need to assess the value of a row-crop planter versus that of a conventional air drill. There was great interest in examining row planter placement methods and their associated impact on seeding rate compared to target rates for an air drill in terms of plant population and canopy closure.
An additional 80 acres of wheat was seeded to evaluate two particular nutritional products emerging in the market. Atlas XC is a dry fertilizer treatment applied at the time of seeding and designed to make phosphorous more readily available to plants. Radiant, the other product in the study, is applied with herbicide to stimulate root growth. Read the full research report below.