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


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


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



Oh, ruts: tread carefully over the fields when repairing

It is no secret that discussions around what to do with ruts dominated many coffee row discussions this winter. These ruts were produced by combines and grain carts operating in wet fields last October and November. Some of them are more than 60 centimetres deep. Managing ruts this spring is required but it needs to […] Read more


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



Watch for crop damage when using residual controls

I am sometimes asked to look at cereal crops in the spring that have been seeded on fields treated with burn-off herbicides containing residual products such as florasulam and metsulfuron. These products are often added to a glyphosate product to improve control of dandelions, narrow-leafed hawk’s beard and wild buckwheat and provide up to three […] Read more


Many tools available to help with soil sampling for seeding

I have to apologize for the length of time between columns this year. I have had some health issues but am now on the road to recovery so hopefully you can expect more regular articles in the future. I have, over the years, written a number of pieces on the importance of soil testing. In […] Read more


How to evaluate frost damage on various crops

Temperatures dipped below -4 C at various weather station locations in Western Canada last week. We shouldn’t be surprised because the average first killing frost occurs in the second week of September for most of the Prairies. Many crops will have missed most of the damage, but some will still be in the susceptible stage. […] Read more



Factors to weigh when debating whether to bale straw

Every drought, livestock operators increase their interest in buying, or harvesting and feeding straw. For grain producers, collecting straw means an additional harvest from otherwise droughty crops. This brings up questions: What is the value of the straw? What nutrients are removed with the straw? Is all straw the same? Will baling and removing the […] Read more


Risks and benefits of early seeding

Crops can tolerate spring frost better than early fall frost. To offset the cold stress associated with early seeding, follow these best management practices:

Weather changes at this time of year make it difficult to predict when growers will be on the land. Growers are starting to seed as I write this in mid-April, and in the extreme south of Alberta, they have already wrapped up. I checked soil temperatures April 20 and found that they are already starting […] Read more