116 bushel canola in Saskatchewan

The winner of DuPont Pioneer’s 2015 Yield Challenge Contest harvested a whopper of a canola crop that weighed in at 116 bushels per acre.

Florian Hagmann, who farms about 16,000 acres near Birch Hills, Sask., won the challenge for the third time in four years with his non-irrigated 148 acre field of Pioneer 45H33 canola.

“I won it two years in a row, then got drowned out in 2014, but I won it again this year,” Hagmann said.

“This year, all of my canola on all my farm was over 70 bushels, and some yields were much higher.”

Click here to download the Hagmann-canola-formula or read it at the end of this story.

Marty Krasko weighed and verified the winning canola crop for Pioneer. He said he could tell the crop was big by looking at the swaths, but the final numbers surprised him.

Hagmann said he achieved high yields by focusing on quality of the applied nitrogen and the nutrient balance in his fertilizer program.

“You can put 250 pounds of nitrogen into the soil but it’s not going to give you the yields. It just won’t work if you decide to put on lots of nitrogen in the first pass. I think feeding crops is like feeding cattle or milk cows; you can’t just put down a pile of feed for them. You need more intensive management,” he said.

Bourgault developed a modified boot prototype Hagman used when seeding.

“It worked well because my liquid starter is not beside the seed, it’s below the seed. You put the seed on top and you have a good contact because the phosphorus needs to be by the seed. If it’s 1/16 (of an inch) away from the seed, the seed won’t even recognize it,” he said.

Hagmann has used mid-row banders for years and traditionally has applied most of the nitrogen during seeding. However, he said he now finds that he gets much better results with staged nitrogen applications.

“With the new technology in fertilizer and how you place it, it’s way more efficient. I seed lots of acres with a mid-row bander, but they don’t yield the same,” he said”.

Hagman said a 100 bu. canola crop is easy to achieve with intensive management.

He added four foliar applications to his winning crop.

“My sprayers were going all summer, you can’t go to the lake. You have to work on your crop,” Hagmann said.

“On that crop, I put actual, 120 pounds of nitrogen and there is still lots left in the ground. But it needed to be added all the time when it’s needed,” Hagman said.

116.8 bu/ac canola yield winning plot recipe

Field averaged 111.3 bu/ac on 147 acres

Grower: Florian Hagmann

Location: Birch Hills, Sask.

Growing season: 2015

Seed: Pioneer hybrid 45H33 (RR) treated with DuPont’s Lumiderm

Field History:

2006 – 2009 alfalfa

2010 – wheat

2011 – canola


2012 – wheat

2013 – canola – contained a winning Yield Challenge strip at 84.5 bu/ac (Pioneer hybrid 45H29 (RR)),

2014 – barley

Seeding Date: May 22nd, 2015

Air seeder: Bourgault 3320 precision hoe drill planted at 5 miles per hour

Yield measured (area): 1,563 feet long x 35 feet wide = 1.2558 acres (minimum 0.9 acres of canola harvested to qualify for yield challenge)

Yield measured: 7,292 lbs of canola. DuPont Pioneer weigh wagon measured.

Moisture content of harvest sample: 9.5 percent, no green seed

Soil test report: October 2014 completed by AgriTrend

Precipitation reports from WeatherFarm weather station at Tomtene Seed Farm – 4 miles away.

  • May 1st to September 5th, 2015 – 106.8 mm (4 ¼ inches) of rain
  • Average temperature from pre-bud until August 31st – 18.8°C

No Manure was applied to field in 2015.

Fertilizer at the time of seeding:

21.5 lb. of ESN 44-0-0

21.5 lb. of S15 13 – 33 – 0 – 15

35 gal. 342 CL 20-0-3-4 – 5 Cl – 0.1 Zn (10.3 lb./U.S. gallon)

2 gal ATS 12-0-0-26 (11.10 lb./gal.)

14 gal KSN22 10-20-2-0 (10.7 lb./gal.)

0.11 gal. KS Max 5 – 0 – 3 – 0.5Cu – 1 Fe- 2 Mn – 2 Zn – 0.025 B (10.4 lb./gal.)

0.11 gal 20 percent Humic Acid (added to buffer against the salt)

Foliar Fertilizer at herbicide timing and in-crop:

At Pre-seed Burnoff – 0.5 gal XRN 28-0-0 (10.7 lb./gal.) with a half liter of Roundup Transorb

June 16th – 3-4 leaf – 1 gal XRN 28-0-0 (10.7 lb./gal.) with a half L. Roundup Transorb 7.5 gal. water

July 2nd – pre-bud – 2 gal 2075 20-0-7-5 (11 lb./gal.) with half L Roundup Transorb 7.5 gal water

July 17th – 80-85 percent podded – 2 gal 1515 15-15-2 (10.7 lb./gal.)

July 17th – 0.11 gal KSMax 5-0-3-0.5 Cu – 1 Fe – 2 Mn- 2 Zn – 0.025 B(10.4 lb./gal.)


Total fertilizer applied at seeding: 102 lb. N/ac., 36 lb. P/ac., 14 lb. K/ac, 25 lb. S/ac.

Total foliar fertilizer applied – 14 lb. of N/ac , 3 lb. of P/ac., 2 lb. of K/ac., 1.0 lb. of S/ac.

Estimated N from mineralization assuming average rates of 10 lb/percent OM – 60 lb./ac.

Total Nitrogen available from the AgriTrend soil test report:

Organic Matter (OM) 0 – 6 inches – 6 percent OM

Organic Matter 6-12 inches – 2.8 percent OM

Sampling depth Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) Potassium (K) Sulphur (S)




Bicarb P ppm Bicarb P lb/ac  









0-6 inch 14 28 4 8 213 426 17 34
6-12 inch 2 4 2 4 126 252 15 30
12-24 inch 1 4 1 2 121 484 93 372
Total to 24 inch 36 14 799 436

Canola would have been able to access N to 24 inches so total available N was 212 lb. N/ac including the estimated N from mineralization.

Total Fertilizer cost: = $270/ac. (according to Pioneer Hi-Bred sales representative)

Fungicide applications: None

Irrigation: None

Swathed: September 5th, 2015 at 70 percent seed colour change

Comments from the Grower:

  • Field averaged 111.3 bu./ac. hauled into the local elevator on 147 acres total.
  • It was a healthy canola crop right from the start with a planned out balanced nutrient program.
  • Florian figured the seed survival rate after seeding was over 90 percent.
  • Mentioned that potassium and phosphorous played a great role in the high yield observed on the field
  • He stated that phosphorous was already in the ortho – form so that made a difference in the availability to the plants and in uptake – He applied about 4X the amount of P that was found to be in the soil.

Comments by agronomist Derwyn Hammond from DuPont Pioneer:

  • Large amount of residual S in the subsoil below 12 inches that the crop would have some access to unless taproot development was stunted by excess moisture or compaction layers, which would be unlikely given the high yields.
  • As the surface moisture is used by the plants, water from deeper in the profile moves up bringing mobile nutrients like N and S with it which could have helped with the high yield achieved.
  • Another factor would be the OM at 6 percent which could supply about 8-10 lb. N for each percentage of OM or 48 to 60 lb./ac. of N on average, and conditions ideal for canola growth would be good for mineralization.
  • Also, recent research by the Canola Council suggests that new canola hybrids may only need 2 lb. of N/bu. of canola compared to 3 lb. of N/bu. that they used to recommend in the past.

The combination of available N in the test plus the applied fertilizer and mineralizable N from OM would have been reasonable to produce this yield from an N standpoint.

Input applications:

At seeding:
21.5 lb. of ESN 44-0-0
21.5 lbs-S15-13-33-0-15
35 gal 342CL 20-0-3-4-5 Cl-0.1 Zn (10.3 Lb./gal)
2 gal ATS 12-0-0-26 (11.10 lb./gal)
14 gal KSN22 10-20-2-0 (10.7 lb./gal)
.11 gal KS Max 5-0-3-.5Cu-1Fe-2Mn-2Zn-.025B (10.4 lb./gal)
.11 gal 20% Humic Acid

At Preseed Burnoff:
.5 Gal XRN 28-0-0 (10.7 lb./gal) with ½ liter of Transorb

1 gal XRN 28-0-0 (10.7 lb./gal) with 1/2L transorb 7.5 gal of water at 3-4 leaf Jun 16th
2 gal 2075 20-0-7-5 (11 lb./gal) with ½ L transorb 7.5 gal of water at pre bud July 2nd
2 gal 1515 15-15-2 (10.7 lb./gal) at 80-85% flowering July 17th
.11 gall KSMax 5-0-3-.5Cu-1Fe-2Mn-2Zn-.025B(10.4 lb./gal) July 17th



  • ed

    That is only killing any chance of a net for farmers in a world awash in grain. The end result is getting caught on a one way street of a hugh carbon footprint agriculture, irreversible soil damage, farmer bankruptcies and then human starvation and the problem leading up to that. But we are human after all, so we are going to do it anyway.

    • Dean

      You would be surprised to know that my carbon footprint today is much lower than that of the 70 and 80’s. With the switch to minimum till and zero till farming my fuel usage per acre has been halved. Also with the implementation of a different tillage system, my soil organic matter has gone from an average of 4.5% to 7.5%. In essence I’ve put more organic carbon back into the soil.

      • Guest

        But, Dean, your stubble crops have really done nothing but ruin the price of wheat and barley in the last several years. Not to mention the billions of tax payers dollars that were paid because of these poor grain prices for wheat and barley.

        • Dean

          Please tell me about the billions of dollars paid by Canadian taxpayers because of poor grain prices.

          • Guest

            Not sure how long you have been farming Dean. But in one year alone farmers received a 3 or 4 billion dollar payment from the taxpayers. It was an ad hoc payment to increase grain farmers income because of poor grain prices they were receiving from the overseas buyers. But there were several ad hoc payments. Feel free to contact Ottawa. There should be people there who can give you a much more accurate figure than I can.

          • Dean

            You thinking of the agriculture stabilization act payments in the early 80’s and 90’s?

          • Guest

            Yes, payments were made in these years. Some government payments were so much per acre. But things like NISA and Agri Invest are also taxpayer funded programs.

          • Dean

            Nisa and agri invest are completely different programs than the agriculture stabilization act. They were/are ways for producers to put away a rainy day fund to help offset the need for other government programs. I essence it enticed producers to withhold cash for later. They basically had nothing to do with world grain pricing.
            The agriculture stabilization act (Asa) was used to guarantee a certain percentage of the average world price over a given amount of years. This program included wheat, barley and all the supply managed commodities ie. Dairy, poultry…. I believe it only included producers that were outside the CWB stranglehold. So basically Ontario and Quebec producers were allowed to collect on it, and none of the prairie provinces. Please correct me if I’m wrong, because I’m going by memory and in the middle of a field spraying. In essence the program at times induced farmers in Ontario or Quebec to over produce wheat or any of the other commodities when the protected price was in their favor. Hence why I don’t like subsidies.

  • Jim Boak

    Nice work Florian….I don’t know if ed below is right or not. I am far too optimistic to agree. My thinking is that this world is not only going to be hungry for food but also for energy as well. I don’t know how much more you can fine tune your recipe to reduce the amount of energy used but I do know that you are growing a heck of a lot more energy than you are using and that is one of the key’s to a prosperous and peaceful future.

    best regards and good fortune to you in 2016

  • Dayton

    One day all that land will be as productive as a block of salt.

    • Denise

      I agree. What was once nutrient rich productive soil is more like inert dirt,now.
      There are probably enough chemical residues in the ground to grow a GE crop, the following year, without using any more chemicals. They have discovered nitrates a foot down in the ground, leaching into the waterways..
      I wonder how many years it takes for a field to regain its natural composition of micronutrients and living organisms depleted from industrial agricultural practices?

      • Stephen Daniels

        Yet the soil now is far healthier than it was 30 years ago when summerfallow was the norm.Remember when it was soil leaching into the waterways and atmosphere?But you read your theory somewhere on the internet so it must be true,cause everything you agree with on the interweb automatically makes it true science be dammed.

        • Denise

          I’m talking about chemicals’ affects on the soil, not cultivation techniques. Farmers learned long ago how to avoid erosion of valuable top soil. The problem now is the depletion of necessary minerals and nutrients in the soil which are needed to grow healthy and nutritive crops.

          • Stephen Daniels

            Still wonder why non farmers are so numerous here .Denise the method farmers used to avoid erosion was replacing cultivation with chemicals.

          • Denise

            The time has come to change from using excessive and stronger chemicals to a more balanced approach (sustainable agricultural practices) to grow crops. A similar situation is unfolding, in factory farming,with the need to reduce antibiotic use to only when an animal is sick and it is needed.
            Customers don’t want chemicals or drugs in their food. Mother Nature is fed up,too. Her way of fighting back is to grow SUPERWEEDS in unhealthy, chemically treated soil.
            Do you really think stronger and more chemical concoctions are the answer?

          • Dean

            Yes Denise, the margins of producing meat from domesticated animals is so great that they can afford to throw drugs and antibiotics at both sick and healthy animals. Not only that, there are regulations for timelines and dosages that the industry is allowed to use to ensure the safety of the food that the consumer receives. But I’m sure you are reading peer reviewed scientific literature and not profit driven fear books. It’s amazing how fear literature has more merit than a science reviewed paper.

          • Harold

            Your bigger question should be; why do non-farmers know more about the environment, chemicals and human health, than you do? Denise referred to Chelation. Glyphosate chelates and deprives plants of iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, boron, and others. That’s how it works. Deficiencies of these elements in our diets, alone or in combination, are known to interfere with vital enzyme systems and cause a long list of disorders and diseases. (animals and Humans) Lastly, your comment that you fry your “potatoes in liquid gopher poison” really displays your consciousness level toward your farming methods. When what you produce is intended for someone else’s plate, you have a duty to that consumer. Monsanto, DuPont, pharmacy, do not; they have a duty to the dollar. You “still wonder why non farmers are so numerous here.” Do you think farmers still need consumers and that’s why?

          • Stephen Daniels

            Quit deflecting Harold that non scientific claim about chelation only applies to GMO round up resistant crops not to crops sprayed with roundup.All non farmer commentors here are better at then farmers is believing every false claim about agriculture they read on the internet.Go have a meal at Earl’s Harold cause their dead bovine meat is so humane it’s put’s vegetarians to shame.

          • Dean

            The chelation and glyphosate theory that you speak. Would that happen to be the paper written by Anthony samsel and published on the bogus “entropy” journal that is a non peer group? Funny how these papers all get published in open source journals that never see they light of day of scientific review. Open sourced means you and I can also post non reviewed hypotheses. I highly recommend sticking to peer reviewed publications. But I’m sure you already know this Denise, because how would some dumb farmer that doesn’t care about his most precious resource “the soil” even care about checking the validity of information I use.

        • Guest

          Since the sod was first broken on the land I now own. It has always been seeded half summer fallow and half stubble. With the right weather conditions some summer fallow fields will grow 35 bushels to the acre wheat. Funny ,Stephen, has the correct date. All stubble crops with fertilizer done in the last three decades. Is drive the price of wheat from where it should be at $15.00 a bushel to the pathetic price of $5.50 a bushel.

  • lazylarry

    way to many chemicals being used and way too much, is it really neccessary to spray 4x a season, is it really necessary to desicate your crops, who wants to eat roundup soaked grains. enough is enough already you are killing the soil and the environment and by the way the people!!! whatever happened to responsible farming!

  • lazylarry

    never buy canola, never use it, it’s poison

    • Stephen Daniels

      That’s why I fry my potatoes in liquid gopher poison ,one man’s poison is another man’s cooking oil.

    • Jim Gordon

      It would be if not properly processed … Genetic illiteracy is ugly.

  • Guest

    I don,t recall any riots when the single desk CWB got $12.00 a bushel for durum wheat for all grain farmers on the prairies around the year 2010. Anyway I am glad to see you wrote zero till increases production. And a person would need an accurate graph on subsidies to see how much affect they have on world grain prices.

    • Dean

      Yes you will see price spikes when supply and demand is at work. The economy works in a wonderful way. Was that $12 durum price sustainable, no. Did it cause riots that year, no. Reason for that is the price was a anomaly, inflated prices lead to demand destruction. Either by reduced consumption for the year or substitution with another commodity. Did a third world country eat spaghetti in 2010, probably not. They would have switched to another grain such as rice. Now take your $15/bushel as a standard price for spring wheat. In order for that to come to fruition, all other substitute grains would have to be elevated as well. Do you think that both the developed and third world economies would be able to afford to eat. Now take how many billion people that would be starving and see what social unrest develops. This same argument develops if we were to take away modern agriculture practices and in turn induce a food shortage because of it. You would most definitely have your $15 wheat, but also producing half as much at the same time.

  • Dean

    Yes poor cropping and chemical rotation will eventually haunt you. We have also been minimum/zero till since the early 80’s. Chemical resistant weeds have not been an issue for us, but we have been fairly proactive on rotating our chemical groups.

  • potoole

    good article…congratulations on the win…well earned.