Ruts that appear while operating equipment in wet fields can cause problems for subsequent crops.  |  File photo

Rutting and compaction are gifts that keep on giving

The weather has finally made a turn for the better. That means there will be hundreds of combines heading to the fields over the next couple of weeks. Farmers are anxious to get the remaining crops in the bins, regardless of field conditions. This opens us up to a couple of soil conditions that may […] Read more

Light green patches are showing up in otherwise verdant fields as the shower-based weather economy of the Prairies returns after last year’s droughty conditions.  |  Thom Weir photo

Flooded fields following heavy rain can take toll on crops

After a number of years of generally wet conditions across the Prairies, last year provided a break with a widespread drought. This spring continued with dryness across much of the region, but recently we have moved into a “more normal” weather pattern with most of the rain falling as a result of thunderstorms. These are […] Read more

This might not be the year to aim for the stars with inputs

My column this week might not be the most popular one I have written for you, but it needs to be discussed. I know most of you will have visited one of the major farm shows this winter. You likely returned with your mind full of exciting new products that promise to make you tonnes […] Read more


Everest damage, two years after application.  |  Thom Weir photo

Herbicides: Carrying on during and after a drought

Herbicide carryover should always be a concern following a dry year. Throughout my career, I have seen this issue reoccur after every drought. This makes me think that 2018 could see herbicide carryover issues raise their ugly heads again. In this column I will discuss why this issue is likely to show up and explain […] Read more

Phosphate, potash and sulfur can be added after harvest through broadcasting or banding.  |  File photo

Fertilizing in the fall; part 2

Last week we looked at the 4Rs of nutrient management as they relate to fall nitrogen. This article will focus on “the others,” or phosphorus, potassium and sulfur. With regards to “right time,” phosphate, potash and sulfur are quite a bit less complicated than nitrogen. The good news is all three products can be applied […] Read more


Anhydrous ammonia is a reliable method of fall banding nitrogen, provided soils aren’t too coarse or lumpy.  |  File photo

Remember the 4Rs of nitrogen fertilizing in the fall

Broadcast Manitoba Sask.


I am sure I will be getting a number of calls again this year about the fall application of fertilizers, so I thought it would be a good time to look at this through the four lenses that make up the 4Rs of nutrient management. Right time Is the fall the right time? The answer […] Read more

A drought creates fields with a wide range of nutrient levels so soil testing — up to 16 samples per zone — is recommended to get a clear picture of what inputs may be required.  |  File photo

Managing fertility after a drought

We are all aware of the impact of drought on crop yields, but what is happening in the field goes far beyond faulty plants and can last for several years, even when precipitation returns to otherwise normal levels. Drought causes several soil processes to slow down or virtually stop. The two most pronounced effects of […] Read more

Farmers who identify SMART goals, such as improving fertilizer applications, can then focus their entire operation on what’s important for the business.  |  File photo

Put your data to work by identifying SMART goals

Modern technologies open an exciting challenge for today’s farmers. Data is being collected across every acre for every operation. Using your data and committing to SMART goals now can result in increased profits. I wrote a couple of columns last year around this time about planning for last year’s crop. They involved preparing a cost […] Read more


Soil testing tells what we don’t know — which is a lot

It has been a roller-coaster ride for most prairie growers this year. The season started with April temperatures of 20 C and higher, which was a welcome change. As well, the lack of rain seemed like a blessing at the time as crops were planted into what was described by many as the best conditions […] Read more

Winter wheat growing tips

Winter wheat has attributes that make it desirable to grow in Western Canada, but time management is one of the main reasons for growing the crop. Seeding winter wheat in the sweet zone between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15 is crucial for success. Unlike past years, this might actually be possible this year because stubble […] Read more