BRANDON — If you’re willing to work for it, you can get huge canola yields, says a Saskatchewan farmer who averaged more than 70 bushels per acre in 2017.
“The most yield potential (comes from) doing that extra work, that extra labour, that extra pass,” said Florian Hagmann, a Birch Hills farmer who spoke to farmers at Manitoba Ag Days.
“If you can have the good seed placement and the good fertilizer placement and the right ingredient at the right time, that’s the key to success.”
Hagmann has yielded more than 100 bu. per acre by weight and more than 90 bu. per acre across an entire quarter more than once and has seen his average yields grow as he refines his actions.
He has recorded the 100 plus results only on test fields, but the average yields on his 4,500 acres of canola are more than 70 bu.
He farms about 10,000 acres altogether, growing canola on either a one-in-two or one-in-three rotation, depending on the field.
Hagmann said he favours split nitrogen application and avoids fall application.
“I don’t do it all at seeding time.”
By placing the fertilizer near enough but not too near the seed, and following up with in-crop foliar applications as the crop can use it, he can build better crops and avoid nutrient loss and plant damage.
“The fertilizer placement is really important,” he said.
“It’s a little bit harder work … but in the end it pays.”
He always selects varieties with high genetic yield potential, conducts soil tests so that he knows what’s under the surface and uses an effective insecticide treatment.
He’s not fussy about machinery.
“I use no fancy new equipment,” said Hagmann, who farms with a 30-year-old Flexi-Coil air seeder.
“The equipment will give you just a small part (of the yield).”
Hagmann said the escalating cost of farmland and the difficulty in expanding means farmers will need to concentrate on boosting per acre yields rather than just trying to farm more and more acres.