Field Crop News http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13291 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/did-you-hear-weve-made-some-great-improvements-to-the-agricultural-information-atlas/ Uncategorized agricultural information atlas farm fire OMAFRA Tools and Resources Did you hear? We’ve made some great improvements to the Agricultural Information Atlas! We’re excited to let you know about the latest updates that we made to the Agricultural Information Atlas (AIA). What is the AIA? It’s OMAFRA&#8217;s free, easy-to-use online tool that can help you to: Develop nutrient management strategies and plans Plan tile drainage for your farm Develop a farm sketch for Pest Assessment Reports and Bee Yard Registration and other government... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:15:08 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/did-you-hear-weve-made-some-great-improvements-to-the-agricultural-information-atlas/#respond OMAFRA Field Crop Team <div class="pf-content"><p>We’re excited to let you know about the latest updates that we made to the <a href="https://www.gisapplication.lrc.gov.on.ca/AIA/Index.html?viewer=AIA.AIA&amp;locale=en-US">Agricultural Information Atlas</a> (AIA). What is the AIA? It’s OMAFRA&#8217;s free, easy-to-use online tool that can help you to:</p> <ul> <li>Develop nutrient management strategies and plans</li> <li>Plan tile drainage for your farm</li> <li>Develop a farm sketch for Pest Assessment Reports and Bee Yard Registration and other government programs, including the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI)</li> </ul> <p>So, what are the changes?</p> <p>The AIA is now housed on a new platform. If you are a current user of the AIA, you’ll need to update your bookmarks to the <a href="https://www.gisapplication.lrc.gov.on.ca/AIA/Index.html?viewer=AIA.AIA&amp;locale=en-US">new URL</a> so you can find the AIA quickly and easily. Better yet, the AIA is now mobile-friendly. Open it up on your phone or tablet for quick access while you’re in the field or on the go.</p> <p>Our updates include new features and tools, such as:</p> <ul> <li>The ability to add your own user data, such as GPS points or shape files</li> <li>Auto-population of 911 addresses</li> <li>The removal of the “Label Map” function, and an added “export markup” function (i.e. text and graphics) that allows you to save and bring data back in again at another time</li> <li>Right-clicking on the map will give you quick and easy access to GPS co-ordinates, basic markup tools and other functions</li> <li>2015 southwestern Ontario imagery data</li> </ul> <p>We’ve also added a Farm Fire Safety Sketch template in the “Create Map” section. You can use the template to develop a sketch of your farm showing features like fire risk areas, utility shut-off points, water sources, livestock barns and access routes for emergency vehicles. This sketch can be shared with local first responders to have on-hand in case of a fire or another emergency. Visit the <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/barnfire/safetysketch.htm">Farm Fire and Emergency Sketch web page</a> for help with making a sketch for your operation.</p> <p>Most of the changes we made were based on user feedback. Let us know what you think about the updates and new features at <a href="mailto:omafra.gis@ontario.ca">omafra.gis@ontario.ca</a> so that we can continue to improve the AIA.</p> <p>Need help with the AIA? Our <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/landuse/gis/agatlas-help.htm">Help page</a> answers some common questions. You can also contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or <a href="mailto:ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca">ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca</a>.</p> <div id="attachment_13292" style="width: 578px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="wp-image-13292" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/farm-fire-sketch.jpg" alt="Picture showing where to find the Farm Fire Safety Sketch Template and other new tools" width="568" height="475" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/farm-fire-sketch.jpg 748w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/farm-fire-sketch-300x251.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 568px) 100vw, 568px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">The Farm Fire Safety Sketch template and other new tools are now available in the Agricultural Information Atlas</p></div> <p><a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/landuse/gis/agatlas-help.htm"><strong>ontario.ca/agmaps</strong></a></p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/did-you-hear-weve-made-some-great-improvements-to-the-agricultural-information-atlas/feed/ 0 2017-03-23 19:15 +00:00 2017-03-23 15:15 -04:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13269 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/problem-weed-guide/ Weeds Tools and Resources Problem Weed Guide Volume 1 of the inaugural &#8220;Problem Weed Guide for Ontario Crops&#8221; includes management strategies for 19 species in corn, soybean and cereal crops that is cited from work conducted by the University of Guelph Department of Plant Agriculture as well as other peer reviewed studies. This 176 page guide features over 175 images and 50 tables that help illustrate the... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 19:58:38 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/problem-weed-guide/#respond Mike Cowbrough <div class="pf-content"><p>Volume 1 of the inaugural &#8220;Problem Weed Guide for Ontario Crops&#8221; includes management strategies for 19 species in corn, soybean and cereal crops that is cited from work conducted by the University of Guelph Department of Plant Agriculture as well as other peer reviewed studies. This 176 page guide features over 175 images and 50 tables that help illustrate the effectiveness of different management options. In addition to herbicide options, the influence of cultural and mechanical control are also presented. This guide is available for free in the following formats.</p> <div class="tabs-container tabs-shortcode"><ul class="tabs-controls"><li class="e-br"><a href="#"><b>Print Copy</b></a></li><li class="e-br"><a href="#"><b>epub version</b></a></li><li class="e-br"><a href="#"><b>pdf version</b></a></li></ul><div class="clear"></div><div class="tab-content">Call <strong>1-877-424-1300</strong> to order a copy</div><div class="tab-content"><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/sgodl6scqbg7ugd/43663_OMAFRA_2017_WeedGuideENG_Ebook_a1.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD (42.16 MB)</a></div><div class="tab-content"><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/6gsy88o9mlmi2rb/43663_OMAFRA_2017_WeedGuideENG_a10.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD (12.67 MB)</a></div></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/problem-weed-guide/feed/ 0 2017-03-20 19:58 +00:00 2017-03-20 15:58 -04:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13233 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/sulphur-deficiency-in-winter-wheat-planning-ahead/ Soil Fertility sulfur sulphur winter wheat Sulphur Deficiency in Winter Wheat: Planning Ahead Sulphur (S) deficiency was very prevalent in winter wheat last spring, including fields with a history of manure applications (Photo 1). The deficiency seen in many fields may have resulted from a cooler than normal April reducing S mineralization. S applications may not be required every year due to the year to year variation in response which might have you asking... Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:16:52 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/sulphur-deficiency-in-winter-wheat-planning-ahead/#respond Joanna Follings <div class="pf-content"><p>Sulphur (S) deficiency was very prevalent in winter wheat last spring, including fields with a history of manure applications (Photo 1). The deficiency seen in many fields may have resulted from a cooler than normal April reducing S mineralization.</p> <div id="attachment_13211" style="width: 503px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-13211" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur1-300x158.jpg" alt="Sulphur deficiency in winter wheat, May 2016. Courtesy of Marieke Patton." width="493" height="260" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur1-300x158.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur1-768x405.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur1-1024x540.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 493px) 100vw, 493px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Photo 1: Sulphur deficiency in winter wheat, May 2016. Courtesy of Marieke Patton.</p></div> <p style="text-align: left;">S applications may not be required every year due to the year to year variation in response which might have you asking the question, why bother with S applications? Well, historically S deficiency in winter wheat was not an issue; however, since sulphur oxide emissions have decreased significantly, there is a need to ensure the crop has an adequate supply of S.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Ontario research has shown there is a variation in yield responses to S applications depending on the year. Years with cool, damp spring conditions showed more of a yield response (Table 1). Interestingly, when the data was analyzed further and separated into responsive and non-responsive sites, yield gains were even more significant on responsive fields (Table 2).</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Table 1: Average yield data (bu/ac) of 40 locations across southwestern Ontario (Johnson and McClure 2011-2014).</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"> <table id="tablepress-6" class="tablepress tablepress-id-6"> <thead> <tr class="row-1 odd"> <th class="column-1">Treatment</th><th class="column-2">2011</th><th class="column-3">2012</th><th class="column-4">2013</th><th class="column-5">2014</th><th class="column-6">Average</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody class="row-hover"> <tr class="row-2 even"> <td class="column-1">Check (No Sulphur)</td><td class="column-2">95.2</td><td class="column-3">101.4</td><td class="column-4">80.2</td><td class="column-5">91.6</td><td class="column-6">91.0</td> </tr> <tr class="row-3 odd"> <td class="column-1">5 lbs Sulphur</td><td class="column-2">-</td><td class="column-3">100.9</td><td class="column-4">80.2</td><td class="column-5">96.2</td><td class="column-6">91.7</td> </tr> <tr class="row-4 even"> <td class="column-1">10 lbs Sulphur</td><td class="column-2">-</td><td class="column-3">102.6</td><td class="column-4">81.2</td><td class="column-5">96.3</td><td class="column-6">92.7</td> </tr> <tr class="row-5 odd"> <td class="column-1">20 lbs Sulphur</td><td class="column-2">99.7</td><td class="column-3">102.0</td><td class="column-4">81.5</td><td class="column-5">95.9</td><td class="column-6">92.6</td> </tr> <tr class="row-6 even"> <td class="column-1">40 lbs Sulphur</td><td class="column-2">-</td><td class="column-3">102.2</td><td class="column-4">-</td><td class="column-5">95.7</td><td class="column-6">-</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <!-- #tablepress-6 from cache --></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Table 2: Yield Response, 12 responsive sites (Johnson and McClure 2011-2014).</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"> <table id="tablepress-7" class="tablepress tablepress-id-7"> <thead> <tr class="row-1 odd"> <th class="column-1">Treatment</th><th class="column-2">Yield (bu/ac)</th><th class="column-3">Gain</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody class="row-hover"> <tr class="row-2 even"> <td class="column-1">Check (No Sulphur)</td><td class="column-2">90.3</td><td class="column-3">-</td> </tr> <tr class="row-3 odd"> <td class="column-1">5 lbs Sulphur</td><td class="column-2">93.1</td><td class="column-3">2.8</td> </tr> <tr class="row-4 even"> <td class="column-1">10 lbs Sulphur</td><td class="column-2">94.6</td><td class="column-3">4.4</td> </tr> <tr class="row-5 odd"> <td class="column-1">20 lbs Sulphur</td><td class="column-2">95.2</td><td class="column-3">5.0</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <!-- #tablepress-7 from cache --></p> <p style="text-align: left;">So, as we start thinking about fertility management this spring, don’t forget about sulphur. Pay close attention to the temperature and if the weather continues cool into the spring as wheat advances an application of S may be needed. Get out and walk your fields and if you are seeing deficiency symptoms (Photo 2) consider a tissue analysis to confirm. Ontario research suggests yield responses for S applications when tissue-S concentrations are below 0.25, while tissue-S concentrations above 0.30 rarely show a response.</p> <div id="attachment_13206" style="width: 419px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-13206" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur2-300x225.jpg" alt="Sulphur2" width="409" height="307" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur2-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur2-768x576.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur2-1024x768.jpg 1024w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sulphur2.jpg 1183w" sizes="(max-width: 409px) 100vw, 409px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Photo 2: Sulphur deficiency can be identified as whole plants that are pale yellow. It can often be found first on slopes and areas with low organic matter.</p></div> <p style="text-align: left;">Although a tissue test will assist in determining whether you have S deficiency, it may not be as helpful in determining the optimal rate to apply. Ontario research suggests that the optimal rate is 10 lbs/ac. However, some fields may require a higher rate so do some test strips in your fields to compare yields and identify responsive and unresponsive fields. If you are seeing a deficiency, apply S as soon as possible. Once an application of S has been made a response is typically seen in 3-4 days, but as we saw this past season it can take up to 10-14 days.</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/sulphur-deficiency-in-winter-wheat-planning-ahead/feed/ 0 2017-03-15 13:16 +00:00 2017-03-15 09:16 -04:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13190 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/understanding-precision-agriculture-experiences-from-the-field/ Precision Agriculture Understanding Precision Agriculture – Experiences from the Field By Joey Sabljic Past articles in our Understanding Precision Agriculture series have focused on the main pieces — data collection, management zone creation, and prescription mapping — that form the foundation of a successful precision ag approach. This month, we spoke with three growers who have been involved with the Precision Agriculture Advancement for Ontario (PAAO) project to hear about their... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 19:49:00 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/understanding-precision-agriculture-experiences-from-the-field/#respond OMAFRA Field Crop Team <div class="pf-content"><p>By Joey Sabljic</p> <p>Past articles in our Understanding Precision Agriculture series have focused on the main pieces — data collection, management zone creation, and prescription mapping — that form the foundation of a successful precision ag approach.</p> <div id="attachment_13191" style="width: 709px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="wp-image-13191 size-full" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-1.jpg" alt="Photo 1. Precision equipment in use at the farm of Zac Cohoon " width="699" height="523" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-1.jpg 699w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-1-300x224.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 699px) 100vw, 699px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Photo 1. Precision equipment in use at the farm of Zac Cohoon</p></div> <p>This month, we spoke with three growers who have been involved with the Precision Agriculture Advancement for Ontario (PAAO) project to hear about their experiences, challenges, and successes.</p> <p>Zac Cohoon farms north of Port Perry, Ontario, where he grows corn, oats, soybeans, and hay. For Cohoon, the two, driving factors that got him invested in precision agriculture were labour and efficiency.</p> <p>He points to GPS technology in the form of RTK (Real Time Kinematic) auto steer systems that have helped save labour, fuel, and time — all while creating an accurate base data set for management.</p> <p>“Driving a big piece of equipment for a long period of time is exhausting mentally and physically — and when you don’t have to devote your full attention to driving straight or accurately, your data’s going to get a whole lot better,” he says.</p> <p>By using an RTK system that plots his position accurately to within a few inches, Cohoon says that he has been able to nearly eliminate overlap across his field when planting and spraying. This helps him cut back on his seed and nutrient inputs, while collecting more accurate yield and elevation data.</p> <p>“With auto-steer being a precision tool that really worked for us and was accurate, we were able to move into precision management, and collect geographical data to make maps,” explains Cohoon. “Now, we can look at soil types, elevations, test for soil fertility and overlap that information with our yield data.”</p> <p>Instead of doing blanket applications of fertilizer, Cohoon says that his precision setup has evolved so that he can perform site-specific applications of fertilizer and seed.</p> <p>Where Cohoon has run into challenges at times has been in getting his precision ag platform to work smoothly and seamlessly with his RTK system, and variable rate equipment.</p> <p>“For me, driving and on-the-go planter management isn’t a problem, but as soon as we start looking at field-by-field or multi-field prescriptions, they just don’t have the computing power to do that,” he explains.</p> <p>Cohoon adds that some of the platforms they use can only handle one prescription per SD card, which can get cumbersome when managing his 30-plus fields. He is, however, looking forward to new precision platforms that will allow him to remotely download and upload specific field prescriptions to his cab.</p> <p>As for what’s on the horizon, Cohoon is working with his consultant to pull the most the valuable nuggets of information about his fields from all the data streaming out of his equipment.</p> <p>“We have all this data, and we’re trying to get good answers from it — what’s relevant, what’s not relevant, and what do we need to focus on,” he says.</p> <p>Cohoon hopes to be able to automate the process for developing prescription maps on a field-by-field basis to ensure he’s getting the maximum production for the least cost.</p> <p>“Agriculture is about cost-control and being able to produce profitably. To me, that’s the real measure of a farmer’s ability to read his land and manage his enterprise,” he says.</p> <p><strong>USE WHAT YOU HAVE</strong></p> <p>Matt Porter is a precision ag equipment consultant with HUB International Equipment LTD., teaches agro-ecology at Fleming College and grows corn, soybeans, wheat, and canola in the Kingston area.</p> <p>Porter consults with 22 growers — including Cohoon — in a wide geography that spans from Sarnia to Quebec.</p> <p>He says one of the most common misconceptions he hears is, to actually do precision ag, growers must make a big-dollar investment in top-of-the-line precision equipment.</p> <p>However, depending on that grower’s farm scale or budget, high-end equipment may not be the best route. But that doesn’t mean they may not already have a basic precision ag setup through the custom applicator that does their planting, spraying, and combining.</p> <p>“I’ve spoken with a lot of guys who have a precision setup already without owning a thing — but you have to look for those partnerships,” says Porter.</p> <p>Besides having high-end precision equipment, custom applicators will also collect yield and other data from their grower customers’ fields.</p> <p>“A lot of growers either won’t ask or don’t know that they can ask for their yield data,” explains Porter. “But that is your information and you have a right to it.”</p> <p>When hiring a consultant to perform soil tests of the their fields, Porter says that growers can also grab geo-reference points for the different soil samples and use that information to put together a basic soil map of their field.</p> <p>Collecting data is one piece of the puzzle — but for growers to feel connected and engaged, Porter says that this data needs to be analyzed and presented in a way that speaks to the grower and their experience.</p> <p>“I find that most farmers have this strong connection to their landscape — and when you couple harvest data and topography with a guy’s knowledge of his fields, we can go through and instinctively pull out different management zones,” he says.</p> <p>But even with grower intuition, Porter contends that there are several, major knowledge gaps in Ontario — specifically in the more advanced computer, field surveying, and data visualization skills needed to interpret and map out raw data.</p> <p>“We have people in cities that specialize in areas like geographic information system technology, but agriculture doesn’t have that strength right now,” says Porter. “That’s a huge gap and it can be a big mountain for a lot of growers to climb.”</p> <p>However, what tends to be the biggest obstacle of all, according to Porter, is building a trusting relationship between consultant and grower — especially when many growers are used to having full control over every aspect of their operations.</p> <p>“These growers — if they want to make something of all the data they’ve collected — they have to accept what they can and can’t do on their own and then trust you enough to take direction,” he explains. “There’s no smoke and mirrors here — it’s really hard work. And it can be difficult for some people to accept just how much work it is to get a project up and running.”</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> <strong> COMPATIBLE TECHNOLOGY</strong></p> <div id="attachment_13193" style="width: 709px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="wp-image-13193 size-full" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-2.jpg" alt="Photo 2. Calibrating your equipment will help ensure the accuracy of your data " width="699" height="523" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-2.jpg 699w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-2-300x224.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 699px) 100vw, 699px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Photo 2. Calibrating your equipment will help ensure the accuracy of your data</p></div> <p>For growers wanting to work with a consultant and adopt precision ag practices, Porter says they need to take a hard look and decide whether they can commit to the full process.</p> <p>“With precision ag, there’s no universal fit. You have to redefine the way you run your operation and make it habit,” he says. “You self-identify and look at your strengths and weaknesses, plan, and make it actual.”</p> <p><strong>COMMITTING TO THE PROCESS</strong></p> <p>Mark Brock’s first foray into precision agriculture began with installing a yield monitor on their combine back in 1999. Since then, he’s been active in trying to improve their setup, trying out new technology, and expanding what can be measured.</p> <p>Brock, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario and director of District 9 (Perth), farms just outside of Staffa, Ontario, and took over the family cash crop operation in 2012. But it was shortly after coming home to farm full-time in 1997 that he began taking a hard look at precision ag equipment.</p> <p>“I really started to see where we could make some improvements and how our farm was varied in terms of production, and I really wanted to quantify that,” says Brock.</p> <p>The yield monitor, he explains was just the beginning. If anything, what they were seeing just sparked more questions.</p> <p>“We were seeing our planter plant a little too much on the headland, or in a triangular piece of the field where the doubled seed population or spray application was actually causing a yield detriment,” he says.</p> <p>As a result, one of the major equipment improvements Brock made was clutch control and spray section control systems. Brock also brought in variable rate controller systems that help him tailor his inputs based on his GPS coordinates, and then lay down accurate nutrient and seed prescriptions for the high, medium, and low-yielding areas of his fields.</p> <p>As for which precision ag equipment he’s bringing into the field for the coming season, Brock says that his tractor, sprayer, and combine are all equipped with RTK-accurate auto-steer systems.</p> <p>He also uses precision planting technology to ensure that he’s getting proper down force on the row units, putting down a precise seeding rate, and capturing data to record his applications.</p> <div id="attachment_13195" style="width: 709px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="wp-image-13195 size-full" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-3.jpg" alt="Photo 3. In cab monitor set-up used by Mark Brock" width="699" height="523" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-3.jpg 699w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/precision-ag-3-300x224.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 699px) 100vw, 699px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Photo 3. In cab monitor set-up used by Mark Brock</p></div> <p>Data collection, says Brock, is really what underpins his precision setup, with most of the data he collects focused on product usage (nutrient application and rates, and seeding populations) as well as yield and elevation.</p> <p>“When I come back to analyze different areas, I can come back to seed count and nutrient application — or — going one step further, having soil test data in our system where we can see yield, soil tests, seeds, and nutrients applied to get a snapshot of what’s happened,” says Brock.</p> <p>As for growers who may be on the fence about whether to dive into precision agriculture, Brock argues that there’s no time like the present.</p> <p>“You can’t afford not to be in it — I think that’s just how our operations are going to evolve and that’s how we’re going to succeed in the future,” he says.</p> <p>“In knowing that, choose to work with a service provider that can provide the support you need based on your skill set.”</p> <p>This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.</p> <p>Precision Agriculture Advancement for Ontario: This article is part of a series dedicated to helping farmers understand and implement precision agriculture technology. It is based on research conducted by Nicole Rabe, Ian McDonald, and Ben Rosser at OMAFRA, in conjunction with Mike Duncan, Sarah Lepp, and Gregor MacLean at Niagara College.</p> <p>For more on precision agriculture go to: <a href="http://www.gfo.ca/Research/Understanding-Precision-Ag">www.gfo.ca/Research/Understanding-Precision-Ag</a>. •</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/understanding-precision-agriculture-experiences-from-the-field/feed/ 0 2017-03-10 19:49 +00:00 2017-03-10 14:49 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13182 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/cover-crops-as-a-soil-fertility-tool/ Cover Crops Soil Fertility Uncategorized cover crops soil fertility Cover Crops as a Soil Fertility Tool Cover crops are well proven to help reduce soil erosion and improve soil structure. They can also have nutrient benefits. Whether you have been growing cover crops for decades or are just getting started, it is helpful to know what specific cover crops can (and cannot) do from a soil fertility standpoint. There are three main ways that cover crops... Fri, 03 Mar 2017 21:19:30 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/cover-crops-as-a-soil-fertility-tool/#respond Jake Munroe <div class="pf-content"><p>Cover crops are well proven to help reduce soil erosion and improve soil structure. They can also have nutrient benefits. Whether you have been growing cover crops for decades or are just getting started, it is helpful to know what specific cover crops can (and cannot) do from a soil fertility standpoint.</p> <p>There are three main ways that cover crops can provide a nutrient benefit within your cropping system:</p> <ul> <li>By fixing atmospheric nitrogen and providing a plant-available nitrogen to the following crop</li> <li>By preventing nutrient losses that would otherwise occur (through leaching or surface runoff)</li> <li>By improving soil nutrient cycling</li> </ul> <p>Some species of legume cover crops can fix hundreds of pounds of nitrogen per acre. The important value, however, is how much of that nitrogen becomes available for uptake by the following crop. A full, uniform stand of red clover (Figure 1) provides a nitrogen credit to corn of approximately 60-70 lbs/acre, for example. There have not been specific nitrogen credits established for other legume cover crops in Ontario.</p> <div id="attachment_12990" style="width: 444px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class=" wp-image-12990" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014-300x119.jpg" alt="Figure 1. Stand of red clover in early fall following wheat harvest." width="434" height="172" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014-300x119.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014-768x305.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014.jpg 960w" sizes="(max-width: 434px) 100vw, 434px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Figure 1. Stand of red clover in early fall following wheat harvest.</p></div> <p>Growing a deep-rooted cover crop reduces the amount of nitrate nitrogen that can be lost to leaching over the fall, winter and spring. If you want to retain nitrogen over winter, seeding a grass or cereal, such as cereal rye, can be very effective.  Plants with deep taproots, such as radish, can also capture nitrogen from depth, though in some cases the timing of nutrient release may occur early in the spring, before uptake by a crop such as corn. The most effective cover crops for reducing nitrate loss are those that gain a reasonable amount of biomass in the fall and/or spring and have both dense and deep root systems.</p> <p>By providing cover on the soil surface, cover crops can also reduce nutrient losses from soil due to surface runoff.  Over the long term, cover crops will improve soil structure, which will increase water infiltration and water holding capacity and likely reduce the risk of soil erosion.</p> <p>When they freeze, however, cover crops can release dissolved phosphorus. The amount released depends on the species. Some of the dissolved phosphorus may go into the soil during thaw events, while some may be lost to surface runoff from the field. Research is underway in Ontario to determine which species and termination methods result in the lowest risk of phosphorus losses to surface water.</p> <p>Overall, the value of certain cover crops in reducing erosion, improving water infiltration, and reducing nitrate leaching makes them a good option for preventing nutrient losses from your fields.</p> <p>Cover crops can also improve nutrient cycling. What does this mean? It means that cover crops, through the sugars they release from their roots and their residue, provide food for soil life. By stimulating soil biological activity, cover crops can accelerate crop residue decomposition and cycling of nutrients from organic (unavailable) forms to inorganic, plant-available forms. For example, cover crops are consistently found to improve earthworm populations (Figure 2), which play a very important role in nutrient cycling.</p> <div id="attachment_13185" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="size-medium wp-image-13185" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Earthworm-casts-in-cover-crop-field-300x189.jpg" alt="Figure 2. Earthworm casts in a field with cover crops. Earthworms play an important role in nutrient cycling in soil." width="300" height="189" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Earthworm-casts-in-cover-crop-field-300x189.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Earthworm-casts-in-cover-crop-field.jpg 611w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Figure 2. Earthworm casts in a field with cover crops. Earthworms play an important role in nutrient cycling in soil.</p></div> <p>Certain cover crops can also provide deep nutrient recovery. Deep-rooted cover crops, such as forage (tillage) radish (Figure 3), cereal rye or turnip, bring a variety of nutrients from depth to the soil surface, where they can be more easily taken up by the following crop. Such cover crops grow in the fall and possibly spring, when moist soil conditions allow for easier root penetration, even in heavy soils. This provides the additional benefit of deep root pathways that can be used by cash crop roots in the next season.</p> <div id="attachment_13186" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="size-medium wp-image-13186" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Forage-radish-taproot-300x224.jpg" alt="Figure 3. The taproot of forage (tillage) radish can extend deep into the subsoil " width="300" height="224" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Forage-radish-taproot-300x224.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Forage-radish-taproot-768x574.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Forage-radish-taproot.jpg 964w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Figure 3. The taproot of forage (tillage) radish can extend deep into the subsoil</p></div> <p>Cover crops are not a magic bullet for soil fertility, but they can be an effective tool when managed properly. While some benefits are short term, such as a nitrogen credit from a legume, others will begin to show up over a longer period of time. Success often depends on matching up the right cover crop species with good management and specific goals. If you are new to cover crops, it is best to start small and gain confidence. For more information, visit the <a href="http://mccc.msu.edu/covercroptool/covercroptool.php">Midwest Cover Crop Council’s</a> website or the <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/cover_crops01/covercrops.htm">OMAFRA Cover Crops</a> website.</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/03/cover-crops-as-a-soil-fertility-tool/feed/ 0 2017-03-03 21:19 +00:00 2017-03-03 16:19 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13157 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/dealing-with-escapes-what-will-they-cost-you/ Weeds sikkema Dealing with Escapes – What will they cost you? In &#8220;Going for the Set up&#8221;, we looked at a number of pre-emergence set up options in corn and discussed reasons to consider going with a set up program.  Today we look at a  situation where you have made the decision to go with the set up program but are noticing some late emerging weeds.  We will discuss what those... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:00:04 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/dealing-with-escapes-what-will-they-cost-you/#respond Ridgetown Campus Weed Research <div class="pf-content"><p>In &#8220;Going for the Set up&#8221;, we looked at a number of pre-emergence set up options in corn and discussed reasons to consider going with a set up program.  Today we look at a  situation where you have made the decision to go with the set up program but are noticing some late emerging weeds.  We will discuss what those weeds could cost you and what dealing with those weeds could afford you.</p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13159 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-1.jpg" alt="Late weeds 1" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-1.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-1-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-1-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13160 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-2.jpg" alt="Late weeds 2" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-2.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-2-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-2-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13161 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-3.jpg" alt="Late weeds 3" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-3.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-3-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-3-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13162 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-4.jpg" alt="Late weeds 4" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-4.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-4-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-4-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13163 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-5.jpg" alt="Late weeds 5" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-5.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-5-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-5-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13164 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-6.jpg" alt="Late weeds 6" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-6.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-6-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-6-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13165 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-7.jpg" alt="Late weeds 7" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-7.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-7-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Late-weeds-7-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p>Weed escapes after the 6-leaf stage of corn, most likely, will not cost you any yield.  If this were the only consideration the decision whether or not to make a post-emergence application to control those weeds would be easier.  However, as we have discussed, there are other considerations.  Your decision can affect weed management in subsequent crop years.  A post-emergence application can be a tool in controlling tough perennial weeds, for herbicide resistance management and for knocking down heavy weed populations.</p> <p>Please stay tuned for more from <strong>“Situational with Sikkema” </strong>in the coming weeks.</p> <p>Thanks to Grain Farmers of Ontario for their support of this research and our research program.  <a href="http://www.gfo.ca/">http://www.gfo.ca/</a></p> <p>Post prepared for Peter Sikkema by Todd Cowan, CCA-ON, Huron Research Station/University of Guelph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/dealing-with-escapes-what-will-they-cost-you/feed/ 0 2017-02-28 13:00 +00:00 2017-02-28 08:00 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13072 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/going-for-the-set-up-situational-with-sikkema/ Weeds sikkema Going for the Set up! Situational with Sikkema In Part 1, &#8220;Big Weeds = Big Deal!&#8221; we touched on the importance of early weed control to protect corn yield.  Today in Part II, &#8220;Going for the Set up&#8221;, we will explore a number of set up programs for use in a two-pass weed control program in RR corn and give you something to consider for the upcoming season.... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:00:46 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/going-for-the-set-up-situational-with-sikkema/#respond Ridgetown Campus Weed Research <div class="pf-content"><p><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/big-weeds-big-deal-situational-with-sikkema/">In Part 1, &#8220;Big Weeds = Big Deal!&#8221;</a> we touched on the importance of early weed control to protect corn yield.  Today in Part II, &#8220;Going for the Set up&#8221;, we will explore a number of set up programs for use in a two-pass weed control program in RR corn and give you something to consider for the upcoming season.  Set up programs can accomplish more than protecting yield.  They can also be an effective tool in preventing or managing <a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/2016/03/herbicide-resistant-weed-maps/">herbicide resistant weeds</a>.</p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13135 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1.jpg" alt="Slide1" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13136 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2setup.jpg" alt="2setup" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2setup.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2setup-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2setup-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13137 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/3setup.jpg" alt="3setup" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/3setup.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/3setup-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/3setup-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13138 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/4setup.jpg" alt="4setup" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/4setup.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/4setup-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/4setup-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13139 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/5setup.jpg" alt="5setup" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/5setup.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/5setup-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/5setup-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13140 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/6setup.jpg" alt="6setup" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/6setup.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/6setup-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/6setup-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13141 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/7setup.jpg" alt="7setup" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/7setup.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/7setup-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/7setup-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13142 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/8setup.jpg" alt="8setup" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/8setup.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/8setup-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/8setup-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.pestmanager.ca">You can download and use the free pestmanager app</a> to match the appropriate herbicide set up program with your specific weed spectrum and herbicide resistant weed concerns.</p> <p>In Part III, we will be looking at the effect of late emerging weeds and weed escapes following a set up program. Please stay tuned for more from <strong>&#8220;Situational with Sikkema&#8221;</strong>.</p> <p>Thanks to Grain Farmers of Ontario for their support of this research and our research program.  <a href="http://www.gfo.ca/">http://www.gfo.ca/</a></p> <p>Post prepared for Peter Sikkema by Todd Cowan, CCA-ON, Huron Research Station/University of Guelph</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/going-for-the-set-up-situational-with-sikkema/feed/ 0 2017-02-21 13:00 +00:00 2017-02-21 08:00 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13039 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/big-weeds-big-deal-situational-with-sikkema/ Weeds sikkema Big Weeds = Big Deal ! Situational with Sikkema This is part of a short series focusing on weed management in field corn.  In Part 1 &#8211; &#8220;Big Weeds = Big Deal&#8221; we look at what happens when Mother Nature delays our herbicide application.  Data collected by Peter Sikkema will show the possible repercussions of delayed application and the effect of weed size on corn yield. &#160; &#160; &#160;... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:00:25 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/big-weeds-big-deal-situational-with-sikkema/#respond Ridgetown Campus Weed Research <div class="pf-content"><p>This is part of a short series focusing on weed management in field corn.  In Part 1 &#8211; <strong>&#8220;Big Weeds = Big Deal&#8221;</strong> we look at what happens when Mother Nature delays our herbicide application.  Data collected by Peter Sikkema will show the possible repercussions of delayed application and the effect of weed size on corn yield.</p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13150 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1-1.jpg" alt="Slide1" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1-1.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1-1-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide1-1-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13151 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide2.jpg" alt="Slide2" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide2.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide2-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide2-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13152 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide3.jpg" alt="Slide3" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide3.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide3-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide3-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13153 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide4.jpg" alt="Slide4" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide4.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide4-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide4-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13154 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide5.jpg" alt="Slide5" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide5.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide5-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide5-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p><img class="size-full wp-image-13155 aligncenter" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide6.jpg" alt="Slide6" width="960" height="720" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide6.jpg 960w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide6-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Slide6-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We will be exploring this subject further in our next two posts.  Please stay tuned for more from <strong>&#8220;Situational with Sikkema&#8221;</strong>.</p> <p>Thanks to Grain Farmers of Ontario for their support of this research and our research program.  <a href="http://www.gfo.ca/">http://www.gfo.ca/</a></p> <p>Post prepared for Peter Sikkema by Todd Cowan. CCA-ON, Huron Research Station/University of Guelph</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/02/big-weeds-big-deal-situational-with-sikkema/feed/ 0 2017-02-14 13:00 +00:00 2017-02-14 08:00 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13012 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/clubroot-in-ontario-canola/ Canola Uncategorized clubroot disease survey Clubroot in Ontario Canola In the summer of 2016, clubroot disease was found throughout a field of canola in the Verner area of West Nipissing. Clubroot has been established in Brassica vegetable crops in Ontario for a number of years, but this was the first time the disease was confirmed in Ontario canola. Above ground symptoms of clubroot include yellowing, stunting, wilting, premature ripening,... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:12:39 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/clubroot-in-ontario-canola/#respond Meghan Moran <div class="pf-content"><p>In the summer of 2016, clubroot disease was found throughout a field of canola in the Verner area of West Nipissing. Clubroot has been established in Brassica vegetable crops in Ontario for a number of years, but this was the first time the disease was confirmed in Ontario canola.</p> <div id="attachment_13017" style="width: 220px" class="wp-caption alignleft"><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/club-root-mild-MB-Ag.png"><img class="wp-image-13017" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/club-root-mild-MB-Ag-223x300.png" alt="Mild clubroot infection. Photo credit: Manitoba Ministry of Agriculture" width="210" height="283" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/club-root-mild-MB-Ag-223x300.png 223w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/club-root-mild-MB-Ag.png 398w" sizes="(max-width: 210px) 100vw, 210px" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Mild clubroot infection. Photo credit: Manitoba Ministry of Agriculture</p></div> <p>Above ground symptoms of clubroot include yellowing, stunting, wilting, premature ripening, and plant death. The above ground symptoms are similar to those of other diseases and nutrient deficiencies, lack of water, or high temperatures. Infections that occur at later plant stages may not result in above ground symptoms. Proper diagnosis of  clubroot infection must include digging up plant roots to check for gall formation. Roots of infected plants become malformed and cannot adequately transport water or nutrients. When scouting for clubroot, walk out to areas of the field that ripen prematurely and pull up plants to look for clubbed roots.</p> <p>There may be little to no yield loss where spore counts are low and conditions slow the plant infection (low soil moisture, pH above 7.2). There can be up to 100% yield loss across the field or in areas of a field where spore counts are high and/or conditions favour infection early in the season.</p> <div id="attachment_13015" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/moderate-clubroot-MB-gov.jpg"><img class="wp-image-13015 size-thumbnail" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/moderate-clubroot-MB-gov-150x150.jpg" alt="Moderate clubroot infection. Photo credit: Manitoba Ministry of Agriculture" width="150" height="150" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/moderate-clubroot-MB-gov-150x150.jpg 150w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/moderate-clubroot-MB-gov-80x80.jpg 80w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Moderate clubroot infection. Photo credit: Manitoba Ministry of Agriculture</p></div> <p>In response to the discovery of clubroot in Ontario canola, a preliminary soil survey was conducted across the province. Soil samples were taken from fields where canola has been grown in the last 3 years targeting many, but not all, canola growing regions in Ontario. Fields were sampled based on voluntary participation by farmers and agronomists, and sample sites do not represent a comprehensive assessment of all canola fields or regions of Ontario. For those samples taken by OMAFRA, approximately 20 soil cores (8” deep) were taken from each of the sampled fields. Sampling was targeted to areas of the field where infections are likely to begin, including a “W” pattern near the major entrance to the field and in some cases, in wet areas of the field. While taking the samples, sanitation procedures were carried out to ensure the samples were not contaminated and the disease was not spread during the sampling process. This includes using a bleach solution to clean soil probes, buckets, shovels and boots and/or using boot covers.</p> <p>A total of 95 soil samples were collected and analysed, and clubroot was detected in 11 of the sampled fields. Clubroot was detected in fields in the areas of Temiskaming Shores/New Liskeard, West Nipissing, Bruce Peninsula, and Dufferin County (see the survey maps at the bottom of this article).</p> <p>Clubroot moves through soil transferred from one field to another. This can occur through movement of soil on farm equipment, in manure, in water, or through erosion, to name a few. Once clubroot is established in a field it cannot be eradicated. Spores can survive in soil for up to 20 years, but reproductive spore counts are significantly reduced when there is no host crop present.</p> <div id="attachment_13013" style="width: 185px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-drought-stress-CCC.jpg"><img class="wp-image-13013" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-drought-stress-CCC-238x300.jpg" alt="Drought stress caused by clubroot. Photo credit: Canola Council of Canada" width="175" height="221" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-drought-stress-CCC-238x300.jpg 238w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-drought-stress-CCC.jpg 252w" sizes="(max-width: 175px) 100vw, 175px" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Drought stress caused by clubroot. Photo credit: Canola Council of Canada</p></div> <p>Canola can be grown successfully in fields where clubroot has been detected, when good sanitation and management practices are followed. The most effective management strategy is using a long crop rotation (4 to 5 years) to prevent spore build-up. Growing clubroot resistant varieties is also a recommended management practice, but it is important to note that resistance can break down over time because multiple strains of clubroot can exist in a field. Good sanitation of field equipment and practices that restrict the movement of soil from one field to another are important in managing the spread of clubroot. For example, tilling and planting clubroot infested fields last can reduce the spread of the disease to fields that are not infected. The level of equipment sanitation depends on the level of perceived risk, and can include removing loose soil from equipment, pressure washing, and disinfection with a bleach solution. There are currently no pesticides registered for the control or suppression of clubroot in canola.</p> <p>Now that clubroot has been detected in multiple areas of Ontario, canola growers across the province should monitor their crops annually for presence of this disease. Fields should be observed in summer and fall for areas of yellowing, wilting, stunting and premature ripening. Walk out to areas of the field that exhibit these symptoms and pull up the plant roots to check for galls. Soil and plant samples can be submitted to diagnostic labs to confirm the presence of the disease.</p> <div id="attachment_13014" style="width: 410px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-premature-ripening-North-Dakota-State-U-CROP.png"><img class="wp-image-13014" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-premature-ripening-North-Dakota-State-U-CROP-300x114.png" alt="Premature ripening caused by clubroot. Photo credit: North Dakota State Univeristy" width="400" height="152" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-premature-ripening-North-Dakota-State-U-CROP-300x114.png 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/clubroot-premature-ripening-North-Dakota-State-U-CROP.png 606w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Premature ripening caused by clubroot. Photo credit: North Dakota State University</p></div> <p>Comprehensive resources on identifying and managing clubroot disease can be found at <a href="http://www.clubroot.ca">www.clubroot.ca</a>. Speak to your seed dealer about the availability and performance of clubroot resistance canola varieties.</p> <p><em>Thank you to the Canola Council of Canada and www.clubroot.ca  for information on clubroot identification and management.</em></p> <div id="attachment_13032" style="width: 1034px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Northern-Clubroot-Survey-2016.jpg"><img class="wp-image-13032 size-large" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Northern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-1024x785.jpg" alt="Northern Clubroot Soil Survey" width="1024" height="785" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Northern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-1024x785.jpg 1024w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Northern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-300x230.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Northern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-768x589.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Northern-Clubroot-Survey-2016.jpg 1259w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Northern Clubroot Soil Survey</p></div> <div id="attachment_13033" style="width: 1034px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Southern-Clubroot-Survey-2016.jpg"><img class="wp-image-13033 size-large" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Southern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-1024x785.jpg" alt="Southern Clubroot Soil Survey" width="1024" height="785" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Southern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-1024x785.jpg 1024w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Southern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-300x230.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Southern-Clubroot-Survey-2016-768x589.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Southern-Clubroot-Survey-2016.jpg 1264w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Southern Clubroot Soil Survey</p></div> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/clubroot-in-ontario-canola/feed/ 0 2017-01-30 19:12 +00:00 2017-01-30 14:12 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=13002 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/organic-amendment-options-whats-the-best-fit/ Uncategorized Organic Amendment Options – What’s the best fit? This pdf was presented at the FarmSmart Conference at the University of Guelph on January 21, 2017. Fri, 27 Jan 2017 19:40:37 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/organic-amendment-options-whats-the-best-fit/#respond Christine Brown <div class="pf-content"><a href="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Farmsmart-2017-Organic-Amendments-for-fieldcropnews.pdf" class="pdfemb-viewer" style="" data-width="max" data-height="max" data-toolbar="top" data-toolbar-fixed="off">Farmsmart 2017 Organic Amendments for fieldcropnews<br/></a> <p>This pdf was presented at the FarmSmart Conference at the University of Guelph on January 21, 2017.</p> <div id="attachment_13009" style="width: 1034px" class="wp-caption alignleft"><img class="size-large wp-image-13009" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/P1230696-1024x768.jpg" alt="Digestate applied into a standing corn crop is an ideal opportunity to maximize nutrients using municipal amendments" width="1024" height="768" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/P1230696-1024x768.jpg 1024w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/P1230696-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/P1230696-768x576.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Digestate applied into a standing corn crop is an ideal opportunity to maximize nutrients using municipal amendments</p></div> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/organic-amendment-options-whats-the-best-fit/feed/ 0 2017-01-27 19:40 +00:00 2017-01-27 14:40 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=12985 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/soil-organic-matter-keys-to-building-it-and-keeping-it/ Uncategorized Soil Organic Matter: Keys to Building It and Keeping It We live in interesting times when it comes to understanding soils. Our concept of what soil organic matter actually is, how it is formed, and how long it sticks around is evolving. The basic principle that has guided management of soil organic matter (SOM) for many years has been that the level of soil carbon is determined by its net... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 17:26:13 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/soil-organic-matter-keys-to-building-it-and-keeping-it/#comments Jake Munroe <div class="pf-content"><p>We live in interesting times when it comes to understanding soils. Our concept of what soil organic matter actually is, how it is formed, and how long it sticks around is evolving. The basic principle that has guided management of soil organic matter (SOM) for many years has been that the level of soil carbon is determined by its net input. In other words, high yields mean high residue return, which results in a build-up over time of SOM. Makes sense, right? Mostly, but it turns out that there’s a bit more to it. In this article, I will highlight some of the latest understanding of soil organic matter and discuss which management strategies can be used to restore and maintain it in your soils.</p> <p>At FarmSmart 2016, Dr. Jerry Hatfield of the USDA spoke about the importance of soil organic matter. He highlighted the need to improve soil water holding capacity to reduce the impact of climate variation that is anticipated across the US Midwest and Ontario in the coming years. Dr. Hatfield’s key message was to build soil organic matter to ensure abundant and stable production in the face of less predictable summer rainfall.</p> <div id="attachment_12935" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="size-medium wp-image-12935" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Soybeans-planted-green-S-Sickle-mid-August-2016-300x169.jpg" alt="Soybeans in a field with a history of reduced tillage, cover crops, and manure application (2016 season; Brant county)" width="300" height="169" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Soybeans-planted-green-S-Sickle-mid-August-2016-300x169.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Soybeans-planted-green-S-Sickle-mid-August-2016-768x432.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Soybeans-planted-green-S-Sickle-mid-August-2016-1024x575.jpg 1024w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Soybeans-planted-green-S-Sickle-mid-August-2016-710x399.jpg 710w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Soybeans-planted-green-S-Sickle-mid-August-2016-910x512.jpg 910w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Soybeans in a field with a history of reduced tillage, cover crops, and manure application (2016 season; Brant county)</p></div> <p>Soil organic matter performs many different functions and is an incredibly important component of soil. We know that it stores and supplies nutrients, improves soil structure and water infiltration, supports soil biological activity, and buffers against changes in soil pH. Higher soil organic matter levels translate into better water holding capacity, which is critical in a season like the one we are having so far. We also know that it can, and is, regularly lost – either through oxidation or erosion.</p> <p>And as farmer Ken Nixon said of organic matter at last March’s Soil Health Roadshow, “you can’t buy it; you have to earn it.”</p> <p>But how much do we really know about soil organic matter and how it is “earned”? What role does crop rotation play? What about organic amendments? Finally, how can cover crops help build soil organic matter?</p> <table class=" alignright" style="height: 421px;width: 427px"> <tbody> <tr style="height: 421.115px"> <td style="width: 418.021px;height: 421.115px"><strong>Soil organic carbon vs. soil organic matter (SOM)</strong></p> <p>You may hear the terms soil organic carbon and soil organic matter used interchangeably. The two are related, but aren’t the same. Here’s the difference:</p> <ul> <li>Organic carbon is the carbon component of soil organic matter (SOM). On average, SOM contains <strong>58% carbon</strong>, which means that you can roughly convert organic carbon to SOM using a factor of 1.72.</li> <li>SOM is made up mostly of carbon, but also contains hydrogen and oxygen, and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium, and many more.</li> <li>Carbon is added to the soil by the process of photosynthesis: carbon dioxide is “fixed” by plants (and certain microbes). The fixed carbon makes it way to the soil through crop residues as well as root exudation.</li> </ul> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>First, soil microbes are now believed to greatly influence SOM cycling in the soil not only because they decompose residue, but also since microbes themselves (once they die) and their by-products can be significant components of organic matter in soil.Here are a few key concepts that will help answer these questions:</p> <p>Second, residue and amendment quality (i.e. carbon-to-nitrogen (C: N) ratio) has been found to play an important role in the accumulation of soil carbon. Recent research shows that without a balance of residue types, you may not be building SOM as quickly as you think.</p> <p>Third, the latest science shows that carbon from root material is retained in soil more efficiently than aboveground inputs. This new knowledge may fundamentally change how we think about building soil organic matter.</p> <p><strong>The role of soil microbes in soil organic matter</strong></p> <p>We have long known that soil microbes and larger soil organisms play an important role in cycling organic matter in soil. Microbes decompose plant residue and, in doing so, release carbon as carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>). They also use a portion of the carbon for their bodies, which are themselves part of the “soil organic matter pool.” It has recently been found, however, that soil microbes also influence SOM cycling because dead and dormant microbial cells and by-products are a significant component of soil organic matter itself. An example of a microbial by-product is a carbon-rich substance called glomalin, which is produced by mycorrhizal fungi, typically stays around for 10-50 years in soil, and can account for almost one third of the total carbon in some soils.</p> <div id="attachment_12987" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="size-medium wp-image-12987" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Glomalin-300x200.jpg" alt="“A microscopic view of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus growing on a corn root. The round bodies are spores, and the threadlike filaments are hyphae. The substance coating them is glomalin, revealed by a green dye tagged to an antibody against glomalin.” " width="300" height="200" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Glomalin-300x200.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Glomalin-768x512.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Glomalin-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">A microscopic view of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus growing on a corn root.  The round objects are spores and the strands are hyphae. Glomalin is dyed green and is coating both the spores and hyphae.</p></div> <p>Given that soil microbes themselves are such important contributors to soil organic matter, but also play an important role in decomposition, how do you manage your soil so that you’re balancing the two?</p> <p>Dr. Lisa Tiemann, a soil microbial ecologist from Michigan State University and 2016 Southwest Agricultural Conference (SWAC) presenter, described the situation as the “soil organic matter conundrum.” At her SWAC presentation, the question she posed was: how do we simultaneously support microbial growth and nitrogen mineralization and maintain and build soil organic matter?</p> <div id="attachment_12988" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-medium wp-image-12988" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Tyler-V-earthworm-pic-from-his-twitter-fall-2015-300x225.jpg" alt="Earthworms are an excellent indicator of soil microbial activity. (Photo: Tyler Vollmershausen)" width="300" height="225" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Tyler-V-earthworm-pic-from-his-twitter-fall-2015-300x225.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Tyler-V-earthworm-pic-from-his-twitter-fall-2015.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Earthworms are an excellent indicator of soil microbial activity. (Photo: Tyler Vollmershausen)</p></div> <p><strong>The importance of residue quality</strong></p> <p>At the heart of the explanation, Dr. Tiemann argued in <a href="https://uoguelph.adobeconnect.com/_a838360559/p4wxcgxs1uo/?launcher=false&amp;fcsContent=true&amp;pbMode=normal">her talk</a>, is nitrogen. On average, soil microbes contain 8 parts of carbon for every 1 part of nitrogen (their C: N ratio). As microbes consume plant residue, around two thirds of the carbon is lost as CO<sub>2</sub> and one third is taken into their biomass. This makes the C: N ratio of 24:1 critical (since one third of 24 is 8). Residues below 24:1 are broken down quickly and stimulate microbial growth since they provide easily available nitrogen. On the other hand, residues above 24:1 contain more carbon relative to nitrogen than the microbes require. This means that existing microbial populations need to find nitrogen from other sources, such as existing SOM.</p> <p>Two main groups of microbes are important when it comes to soil organic matter.  Fast-growing microbes reproduce rapidly, thrive on low C: N residue (think young alfalfa), and are generally inefficient (gain a relatively small amount of energy per amount of carbon consumed). Slow-growing microbes, on the other hand, reproduce slowly, feed on high C: N residue (think wheat straw and corn stover), but are energy efficient.</p> <p>Dr. Tiemann stated that the best way to build and maintain organic matter is to strike a healthy balance between the two types of microbes. She offered the following advice for doing so:</p> <p>1) Wake up soil microbes</p> <ul> <li>By growing cover crops to feed and build soil microbial populations during the fall and early spring</li> <li>By applying organic amendments if possible, which have been shown to have a dramatic effect on stimulating microbial growth</li> </ul> <p>2) Provide a mixed quality of amendments over a rotation</p> <ul> <li>High quality (low C: N) amendments, such as legume and immature grass cover crops, help stimulate fast-growing microbes and provide short-term N release. Low quality amendments, such as mature grasses and manure with plenty of bedding, feed the more efficient microbes, such as fungi, that help build stable, long-term SOM.</li> </ul> <p>3) Diversify your crop rotation – more diverse rotations in general have higher SOM and more active and diverse microbes</p> <p>Ontario research shows that adding winter wheat to a corn-soybean rotation improves soil carbon levels over time. When red clover is included as a cover crop, it likely contributes to soil organic matter not only due to its biomass, but also because it provides a high nitrogen residue that balances the high carbon residue of wheat and corn. Better yet, by leaving red clover growing throughout October (or later), you will get double the root growth, as Dr. Dave Hooker has shown, which further enhances the benefit.</p> <div id="attachment_12990" style="width: 403px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class=" wp-image-12990" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014-300x119.jpg" alt="Legumes, like this stand of red clover, play an important role in stabilizing soil organic matter by adding high N content residue" width="393" height="156" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014-300x119.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014-768x305.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Red-clover-field-fall-2014.jpg 960w" sizes="(max-width: 393px) 100vw, 393px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Legumes, like this stand of red clover, play an important role in stabilizing soil organic matter by adding high N content residue</p></div> <p><strong>Roots vs. shoots</strong></p> <p>Often the success of a cover crop is judged by its aboveground growth. However, new data suggest that what’s going on belowground may be even more important if it is soil organic matter you’re after. Research has consistently found that carbon from roots is more stable in soil than aboveground residues. In other words, carbon from roots sticks around in soil longer than carbon from shoots. This is likely because inputs from roots have better opportunities to interact with soil than aboveground residue, like leaves and stems. So, if you’re looking to build soil organic matter, achieving a consistently good root system matters.</p> <p>What does this mean?</p> <ul> <li>Better soil structure and better crop root growth translates into higher yields, and also contributes more to long-term organic matter as those roots break down</li> <li>Maximize root growth with cover crops. Don’t judge a cover crop entirely by its aboveground looks &#8211; do a little digging to check root growth, and give credit for what you see belowground. Species such as oats and cereal rye are known to have excellent fibrous root systems.</li> </ul> <div id="attachment_12991" style="width: 184px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-medium wp-image-12991" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Cereal-rye-cover-crop-root-system-174x300.jpg" alt="Root system of a cereal rye cover crop. " width="174" height="300" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Cereal-rye-cover-crop-root-system-174x300.jpg 174w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Cereal-rye-cover-crop-root-system.jpg 353w" sizes="(max-width: 174px) 100vw, 174px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Root system of a cereal rye cover crop.</p></div> <p><strong> </strong><strong>Principles for building and maintaining soil organic matter</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong>When it comes to building soil organic matter, one positive action can often have multiple benefits. Here are some principles to keep in mind for enhancing organic matter in your soils:</p> <ul> <li>If you don’t grow wheat and you can, start (or better yet, a perennial forage)</li> <li>Grow cover crops – to add carbon, feed soil microbes, and balance residue quality</li> <li>Apply organic amendments for their carbon and nutrient value and to “wake up” soil microbes</li> <li>Focus on shoots <em>and</em> roots</li> </ul> <p><strong>The bottom line</strong></p> <p>Soil organic matter is the single most important soil property that you have influence over through your management. Higher soil organic matter levels translate into higher yields, more consistent yields, and higher profit in the long run. What’s keeping you from getting started?</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/soil-organic-matter-keys-to-building-it-and-keeping-it/feed/ 1 2017-01-25 17:26 +00:00 2017-01-25 12:26 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=12977 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/understanding-precision-agriculture-where-do-management-zones-make-sense/ Precision Agriculture Understanding Precision Agriculture: Where do Management Zones Make Sense? GROWERS MIGHT KNOW from experience that they have areas in their fields that consistently deliver high yields season after season — and other parts that just aren’t very productive at all. But is having that knowledge enough for growers to optimize inputs and yield potential in each area of a field so that their overall profitability is higher and their... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:37:37 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/understanding-precision-agriculture-where-do-management-zones-make-sense/#respond OMAFRA Field Crop Team <div class="pf-content"><p>GROWERS MIGHT KNOW from experience that they have areas in their fields that consistently deliver high yields season after season — and other parts that just aren’t very productive at all.</p> <p>But is having that knowledge enough for growers to optimize inputs and yield potential in each area of a field so that their overall profitability is higher and their environmental impact is lower?<span id="more-12977"></span></p> <p>This, say researchers from the Precision Agriculture Advancement for Ontario (PAAO) project team, is where creating management zones can help.</p> <p>Management zones are areas within a field that have similar yield potential. However, this similar performance can be due to a variety of different reasons, including soil type, elevation and weather conditions within or between years.</p> <p>Ian McDonald, Applied Research Coordinator with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), says that management zones form the backbone of a precision agriculture site specific management approach to production, and serve as the foundation for optimizing profitability through other tools, such as prescription maps to tailor crop inputs.</p> <p>The PAAO team is trying to better understand how growers should go about creating management zones, which types of data they need to collect, and how it should all fit together.</p> <p><strong>CREATING ZONES</strong></p> <p>Nicole Rabe, OMAFRA Land Resource Specialist, explains that creating a management zone is based on three main buckets: what growers see — the knolls, depressions, and wet spots in their field landscape — what they can measure (soil texture, nutrients, and organic matter), and what they achieved in terms of high, average, or low crop yields. All this information is then taken together and mapped out to produce a management zone.</p> <p>So where can growers get started? The first thing they may already be doing is collecting both yield and elevation data off of equipment.</p> <p>McDonald says having multiple “layers” of data may help create a management zone that’s more accurate and reliable.</p> <p>However, crunching the yield and elevation numbers and then performing the integrated analysis of the different layers to create a management zone can be complicated.</p> <p>According to Rabe, there are no fully automated, easy-to-use methods for integrating all of the data layers together into a management zone map.</p> <p>Often, multiple software tools need to be used, and then the grower must work with their agronomist or consultant to carefully look over the maps that were produced and decide on how to form their management zone.</p> <p>Another problem is that the approaches aren’t transparent and don’t give growers a sense of what type of math or process is being used to analyze and integrate each data layer.</p> <p>The PAAO team has also found that the same data layers aren’t always used to perform an integrated analysis of a field, as some layers may be more important than others depending on a given year’s weather and agronomic conditions.</p> <p><strong>TOOLS</strong></p> <p>Several precision agriculture computer tools (such as SMS, SS,T and Farm Works), or internet-based, integrated analysis services (such as XS Inc. and Ag Veritas) do exist and can be purchased. Niagara College is also developing the Crop Portal, their online data analysis tool as part of the PAAO project.</p> <p>“We hope to get to a point in the project where we can present a streamlined, automated way for growers to perform an integrated analysis using the Crop Portal being developed by Niagara College as part of the PAAO project,” Rabe says.</p> <p>McDonald recommends growers look to their crop advisors or an outside specialist for help with performing data analysis.</p> <p>“Quite a few of the software tools available aren’t the most intuitive to use and require plenty of training to use properly,” says McDonald. “We’re getting into an era where farmers aren’t the jacks of all trades like they used to be — especially with things becoming more complex and computer-driven. Luckily, there are a number of advisors who specialize in making those tools work, and maybe that’s where you should be spending your dollar.”</p> <p>Rabe points out that another big part of creating management zones comes from a grower’s own field-level understanding of their field’s agronomic features and issues.</p> <p>McDonald adds that growers also need to pay attention to the parts of their fields with untapped productivity that that they may not have taken full advantage of before.</p> <p>By matching up their yield and elevation data layers with their field-level agronomic knowledge, growers can use their management zones to pinpoint the areas of their fields that have the most potential for yield and then tailor their nutrient and seed inputs to these specific zones.</p> <p>On the flip-side, management zones can also reveal less-productive areas that may benefit from more attention.</p> <p>“You have to look at a field as an entire system where the goal is to optimize each management zone by matching your inputs to each zone’s productivity and profit,” explains McDonald. “Poorer producing areas may just need more management to actually make them profitable.”</p> <p><strong>ZONE AGGREGATION</strong></p> <p>Rabe and McDonald say that many growers — when mapping out their management zones — are “bundling” several zones together. For example, a grower’s data might show that there are 10 zones that could be managed across a field, but instead, they’re putting zones with similar characteristics together so that they only have three (or four) to manage.</p> <p>“Quite often, the subtle changes between zones makes for a very small area to manage,” says Rabe. “And it can be difficult to hit those fine isolated little pockets with equipment depending on the layout of the field.”</p> <p>She also points to the limitations of current equipment as another main reason for management zone aggregation. Right now, most growers can only handle managing so many input rates across a field at one time.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-12978" src="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/pag2-1024x982.jpg" alt="pag2" width="1024" height="982" srcset="http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/pag2-1024x982.jpg 1024w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/pag2-300x288.jpg 300w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/pag2-768x737.jpg 768w, http://fieldcropnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/pag2.jpg 1406w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <p>Why is this important? According to McDonald, growers aren’t getting the same level of detail — or resolution — from a combined management zone as they would if they were using every management zone.</p> <p>“This is an important concept, because when we bundle zones together, it really does impact how much we can optimize the inputs to the overall productivity potential of that aggregated zone,” he explains. “But as we move towards having precision equipment as well as the level of understanding needed to manage in greater detail, or higher resolution, the opportunity to optimize every zone will be enhanced.”</p> <p>He adds that while combined or “aggregated” management zones are better than the “whole field” management approach that’s still in use today, the PAAO researchers still have a long way to go.</p> <p>Rabe, McDonald, and the rest of the PAAO research team want to find out whether or not collecting and including other more detailed data layers — such as soil chemistry, soil texture, and electrical conductivity — can improve the reliability and accuracy of a management zone. Also, if other data layers are added, do the transition areas between management zones change, shift or stay the same with every year?</p> <p>“That’s still a big question for us: how stable are management zones from year to year?” says McDonald. “That’s why we want to look at adding other data layers to the mix and find out whether the imaginary lines between the management zones in your field change.”</p> <p><em>This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.</em> •</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/understanding-precision-agriculture-where-do-management-zones-make-sense/feed/ 0 2017-01-19 14:37 +00:00 2017-01-19 09:37 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=12968 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/canadian-organic-growers-organic-field-crop-handbook-3rd-edition/ Barley Corn Edible Beans Oats Soybean Spring wheat Winter Wheat field crops organic Tools and Resources Canadian Organic Growers’ Organic Field Crop Handbook, 3rd Edition The updated Organic Field Crop Handbook is now available for purchase on the Canadian Organic Growers&#8217; website.  The cost is $45.00 (448 pages). &#160; From the website: &#8220;This handbook is divided into five sections. Section One covers the principles upon which organic management practices are based along with an overview of the organic certification process. Section Two focuses on soil management, Section... Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:21:28 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/canadian-organic-growers-organic-field-crop-handbook-3rd-edition/#respond OMAFRA Field Crop Team <div class="pf-content"><p>The updated Organic Field Crop Handbook is now available for purchase on the Canadian Organic Growers&#8217; <a href="http://cog-shop.myshopify.com/products/organic-field-crop-handbook-3rd-edition">website</a>. <span id="more-12968"></span></p> <p>The cost is $45.00 (448 pages).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From the website:</p> <p>&#8220;This handbook is divided into five sections. <strong>Section One</strong> covers the principles upon which organic management practices are based along with an overview of the organic certification process. <strong>Section Two</strong> focuses on soil management, <strong>Section Three</strong> on weed and pest management, while <strong>Section Four</strong> is written to help producers to understand how to design an effective organic field crop rotation. <strong>Section Five </strong>provides practical tips for growing the key organic field crops of North America.&#8221;</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/canadian-organic-growers-organic-field-crop-handbook-3rd-edition/feed/ 0 2017-01-19 14:21 +00:00 2017-01-19 09:21 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=12963 http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/student-field-crop-assistant/ Uncategorized job summer student Student Field Crop Assistant Jobs Available Division/Branch:      Economic Development Division / Agriculture Development Branch Position Title:             Field Crop Assistant Job Term:                     Temporary for 18 weeks Salary:                           $12.25 / hour, based on a 36.25 hour work week Closing Date:              Jan 30, 2017... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 15:06:57 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/student-field-crop-assistant/#respond Meghan Moran <div class="pf-content"><p><strong>Division/Branch:</strong>      Economic Development Division / Agriculture Development Branch</p> <p><strong>Position Title: </strong>            Field Crop Assistant</p> <p><strong>Job Term:</strong>                     Temporary for 18 weeks</p> <p><strong>Salary:            </strong>               $12.25 / hour, based on a 36.25 hour work week</p> <p><strong>Closing Date</strong>:              Jan 30, 2017</p> <p><strong>Available Positions/Locations:</strong></p> <table style="width: 697px"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 238px"><strong>Position Focus</strong></td> <td style="width: 108px"><strong>Location</strong></td> <td style="width: 123px"><strong>Contact Person</strong></td> <td style="width: 204px"><strong>Email</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 238px">Weed Management Research</td> <td style="width: 108px">Guelph</td> <td style="width: 123px">Mike Cowbrough</td> <td style="width: 204px">mike.cowbrough@ontario.ca</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 238px">Canola and Edible Bean Research</td> <td style="width: 108px">Guelph</td> <td style="width: 123px">Meghan Moran</td> <td style="width: 204px">meghan.moran@ontario.ca</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 238px">Field Crop Agronomy/Corn Production</td> <td style="width: 108px">Guelph</td> <td style="width: 123px">Ben Rosser</td> <td style="width: 204px">ben.rosser@ontario.ca</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 238px">Field Crop Agronomy</td> <td style="width: 108px">Kemptville</td> <td style="width: 123px">Scott Banks</td> <td style="width: 204px">scott.banks@ontario.ca</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 238px">Field Crop Pathology</td> <td style="width: 108px">Ridgetown</td> <td style="width: 123px">Albert Tenuta</td> <td style="width: 204px">albert.tenuta@ontario.ca</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 238px">Soil Management</td> <td style="width: 108px">Ridgetown</td> <td style="width: 123px">Adam Hayes</td> <td style="width: 204px">adam.hayes@ontario.ca</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width: 238px">Field Crop Entomology</td> <td style="width: 108px">Ridgetown</td> <td style="width: 123px">Tracey Baute</td> <td style="width: 204px">tracey.baute@ontario.ca</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Are you serious about making your mark, getting hands-on work experience and learning more about careers in the Ontario Public Service? This position will provide an excellent opportunity for those interested in a career in field crop production, research or the agricultural service sector. This position will provide the opportunity to learn about diseases, insects, and agronomy of the major field crops grown in the province.</p> <p><strong>Duties:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Assist with summer applied research and demonstration projects conducted by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Field Crops Staff.</li> <li>Projects focus on production practices, e.g. soil health, weed control, pest management, fertility and others.</li> <li>Field work could include field scouting, identification and monitoring of insects, weeds and crop diseases, soil and plant sampling, and other data collection</li> <li>Assist staff to gather existing and conduct new literature reviews, and develop written reports and presentation materials on key initiatives.</li> <li>Assist in the coordination of events and programs (e.g. workshops, demonstrations, field days etc.), and set-up of field sites for events</li> <li>Office work might include providing customer service assistance, assisting with issue management, research, data collection and database management, assisting with the production of technical information such as newsletters, updating web pages, blogs, scanning images, etc.</li> </ul> <p><strong>What we are looking for:</strong></p> <ul> <li>You apply your interpersonal skills to work within a multi-disciplinary team and participate in meetings</li> <li>You apply your observational skills and attention to detail to conduct research, field monitoring and data entry</li> <li>You apply your written communication skills to prepare a variety of documents (e.g. reports, factsheets, and articles).</li> <li>You are familiar with computer based software applications including MS Word and database management software to perform data entry, conduct analysis, prepare reports, track and compile information</li> <li>You can work in an outdoor environment with some light physical activity involved, including light lifting</li> <li>You work independently or as part of a team; you plan, organize and prioritize your work to meet competing deadlines</li> <li>You are familiar with farming and crop/livestock production</li> <li>You are willing to travel to rural locations (frequently not accessible by public transportation)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Requirements for hiring:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Must have a minimum Ontario G2 Driver&#8217;s Licence</li> <li>Must be a resident of Ontario and eligible to work in Ontario</li> <li>Must be between 15-24 years of age (up to 29 with disability) on the first day of employment.</li> <li>Must be currently enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary school, or have completed all academic requirements for graduation within 6 months of first day of employment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>How to Apply:</strong></p> <ul> <li>You must demonstrate how you meet the eligibility criteria, skills and experience we are looking for clearly, completely and concisely. We rely on the information you provide to us.</li> <li>Provide your cover letter and resume electronically in one file in any of the following formats: PDF, WORD, plain or rich-text format (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt and .rtf).</li> <li>For each position you are interested in, submit a separate resume by email to the respective contact person listed above under <strong>Available</strong> <strong>Positions/Locations. </strong>For example, if you are interested in both the Weed Management Research and the Canola and Edible Bean Research positions, you must send resumes to both Mike Cowbrough and Meghan Moran.</li> </ul> <p>If you have any questions about applying, or have a disability and require accommodation to apply please contact Meghan Moran 519-546-1725 or meghan.moran@ontario.ca</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/01/student-field-crop-assistant/feed/ 0 2017-01-12 15:06 +00:00 2017-01-12 10:06 -05:00 http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=12956 http://fieldcropnews.com/2016/12/prevent-farm-fires/ Uncategorized electrical systems farm fire Prevent Farm Fires Did you know? Faulty electrical systems cause approximately 40 per cent of farm building fires with a determined cause, making it one of the leading known causes of farm fires. What can you do? Regular inspections and maintenance are key to reducing the risk of a fire. We recommend that you work with a professional to inspect and monitor your... Wed, 28 Dec 2016 20:20:54 Z http://fieldcropnews.com/2016/12/prevent-farm-fires/#respond OMAFRA Field Crop Team <div class="pf-content"><p><strong>Did you know?</strong></p> <p>Faulty electrical systems cause approximately 40 per cent of farm building fires with a determined cause, making it one of the leading known causes of farm fires.<span id="more-12956"></span></p> <p><strong>What can you do?</strong></p> <p>Regular inspections and maintenance are key to reducing the risk of a fire. We recommend that you work with a professional to inspect and monitor your farm buildings.</p> <ul> <li>Have your buildings inspected and maintained regularly by a licensed electrical contractor.</li> <li>Develop a preventative maintenance and housekeeping schedule.</li> <li>Work with a professional to monitor the heat conditions of your buildings using infrared technologies.</li> <li>Work with your local fire department and insurance company to identify problem areas on your farm, and fix any problem areas identified.</li> <li>Have a plan ready to deal with any emergency.</li> <li>Train your family and employees on what to do if there is a fire. Make a list of who to call during and after a fire, and establish a safe meeting point.</li> </ul> <p>Visit <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/barnfire/fireprevention.htm">ontario.ca/preventfarmfires</a> to find helpful resources, including:</p> <ul> <li>The <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/barnfire/toc.pdf">Reducing the Risk of Fire on Your Farm</a> book that examines the main causes of farm building fires and what you can do to minimize risks.</li> <li>A checklist to help you <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/barnfire/section5.htm">assess your farm&#8217;s fire risk</a>.</li> <li>A link to the <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/barnfire/safetysketch.htm">Farm Fire and Emergency Sketch web page</a> that explains step-by-step how to create a sketch for your operation.</li> <li>Our <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/16-043.htm">Electrical Systems in Barns Factsheet</a> that provides information on how an electrical system can start a fire, regulations and barn electrical maintenance practices.</li> <li>Links to different inspection, monitoring and extinguishing technologies, such as <a href="http://www.flir.ca/instruments/content/?id=70888&amp;CFID=30667099&amp;CFTOKEN=19427526">FLIR</a> heat-sensing cameras, <a href="http://www.coleparmer.ca/Category/Gas_Detectors/56041">Cole-Parmer</a> gas detectors and the <a href="http://www.dspa.nl/dspa-5-series/">DSPA 5 aerosol generator</a>.</li> </ul> <p>For more information and to suggest a different fire prevention device, technology or program that could be listed on our website, contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at 1-877-424-1300 or <a href="mailto:ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca">ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca</a>.</p> <p>Visit <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/safe.htm">ontario.ca/farmsafety</a> for other resources and tips for keeping your farm safe.</p> <p><a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/barnfire/fireprevention.htm"><strong>ontario.ca/preventfarmfires</strong></a></p> </div> http://fieldcropnews.com/2016/12/prevent-farm-fires/feed/ 0 2016-12-28 20:20 +00:00 2016-12-28 15:20 -05:00