Because of the many agronomic benefits, and some of the financial ones, intercropping is on the rise. One of the most popular combinations in the U.S. and Australia puts soybeans between rows of winter wheat. The wheat is harvested in July, leaving the beans with plenty of sunshine as they mature through to their harvest date.  |  Dave Dietrich photo

Hold the beans down boys, here comes the combine

More farmers are trying intercropping for the first time in 2019. Growing two or more crops side-by-side in the same field, at the same time has a number of benefits: More crop cover for a longer time period helps re-duce soil erosion risk. A diverse rotation with more different crops helps break cycles of disease, […] Read more

During the freeze-thaw cycle, small liquid water droplets have the effect of attracting other loose water droplets from the surrounding soil. As these ice crystal lenses steal water from adjacent soil, it dehydrates those soils, thus creating pores and air spaces in the soil. | Erin Rooney photo

Frost boils push mineral nutrients to soil surface

We’ve all seen a solid rock that’s been seamlessly broken in two by some invisible force. The movement of rocks and soil are controlled by freeze and thaw events, creating mounds, organizing rock circles and cracking the rocks themselves. These phenomena are macro views of the freeze-thaw cycle that naturally occurs in soil. As demonstrated […] Read more

The Vibra-Screen has a main deck of one-inch expanded steel welded to its frame. Farmers have a choice between a half inch and three-quarter inch screen that is fitted above the main deck. The variable-speed 115-volt vibrating motor keeps the product flowing while shaking it into the correct granular shape. | Dave Dietrich photo

Vibrator shakes 20 minutes off fill time

Seeding has gone well for Bob Rusk this spring. Last month, he bought a Flexxifinger Vibra-Screen, thinking it would keep his granular fertilizer flowing better so that he would have faster fills. Rusk said last week that the Vibra-Screen works even better than expected. “It’s cut our fill time by more than 20 minutes. We […] Read more


Ohio State University will be conducting tests of the new system, using an Ecolo-Tiger 875 disk ripper like this.   AFS Soil Command control technology helps ensure the machine has the proper settings and adjustments. When shank depth is adjusted, all other functions of the machine automatically react to remain optimized for peak performance, including fore and aft leveling, disk gang depth, leveler depth and crumbler pressure.  |  Case IH photo

Data drives tractor in right directions

We’ve seen data-driven technology improve the performance of combines, tractors, grain-handling equipment and sprayers. Electronic soil sensors and data-driven technology have finally caught up with tillage and planting equipment. Case IH has released a new AFS Soil Command feature, marking major progress in field mapping capabilities and agronomic research. The company says seed bed sensing […] Read more

To simulate snowmelt runoff, researchers used slabs of soil with snow on top of them. The slabs were then removed from the field plots for analysis.  |  T. King photo

Catching and keeping the elusive phosphorus

What form phosphorus will take in a particular soil depends on the chemistry of that soil. The transformation can do strange things to fertilizer. Soils with a lot of calcium, such as those in eastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, will force the fertilizer to reside in a form known as calcium phosphates. These alkaline soils vary […] Read more


The benefits of strategic tillage to incorporate surface residue into the soil where it may do more good is being hotly debated. | File photo

Bury crop residue or let it lie: no easy answer

The benefits of strategic tillage to incorporate surface residue into the soil where it may do more good is being hotly debated. Proponents of the practice say there are major benefits to be had by moving the organic matter into the soil. Others say they can’t make a definitive decision because they haven’t seen enough […] Read more

Researchers use synchrotron to get new look at nutrient runoff

During the last two decades, phosphorus runoff has been shown to be a main cause of water quality degradation. That has given rise to suggestions that regulations to direct farmers on where and how they can apply phosphorus may be coming. Phosphorus runoff also has an immediate effect on a farmer’s fertilizer decisions. Lake Erie […] Read more

Andy Scheurer was first to the field in the Dugald Man., district on the morning of April 30.  Scheurer made one round with the brand new Horsch Maestro when a faulty guidance system brought the operation to a screeching halt for four hours. “The companies that provide these services have to do something about this re-occuring problem,” said Scheruer.  |  Ron Lyseng photo

Maestro sings a song of singulation

DUGALD, Man. – Prairie farmers have a half-dozen high-speed planters from which to choose. For Andy Scheurer the selection process was easy. His neighbour bought a Horsch Maestro last year and Scheurer was impressed. For years, the Dugald, Man., producer and his brother, Edgar, had been planting corn, canola, soybeans and sunflowers with a JD […] Read more


The canola kit includes stainless steel discs plus metering components for small seed crops. The kit is designed to allow a quick change between regular row crops and canola on any Maestro SW planter. | Ron Lyseng photo

Maestro has gentle touch with delicate seeds

DUGALD, Man. — Like a symphony conductor keeping precise meter for the orchestra with his wand, the Horsch Maestro seed metering system precisely conducts the flow of soybean, canola, sunflower and corn seeds. Before launching into the Maestro design process, Horsch engineers studied the many conventional planters already on the market. They saw that most […] Read more

Tools to reduce drift come in many forms, like liquid

There’s more to spray-drift management than nozzle selection, boom height, ground speed and atmospheric conditions. Some producers are adding low-drift adjuvants their tanks. There are a number of reasons farmers are cranking up their drift reduction efforts. Spray drift can damage crops adjacent to the target field. That’s a financial loss when it’s a farmer’s […] Read more