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


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