Author Archive: Brian Hall

Author Archives for Brian Hall


We are very much looking forward to our Western Canada trip, Aug 2-14th to speak and attend AgSmart, Aug 10 & 11, in Calgary. Along the way we will be visiting Agri-businesses for demonstrations of our Wintex soil samplers and eBee Ag drone. Most of our trip will be along the TransCanada highway, however we would sure be happy to arrange a visit and demo if at all possible.

Contact Felix directly by
email: Wintex@AgBusiness.ca
https://wintexagrocanada.com/

While I’m a big supporter of precision ag as a means to collecting data for better decision making, I was reminded recently we can’t lose sight of the fundamentals like soil testing, as boring as this may sound to growers. A 2015 Olds College survey by students highlighted the need to keep soil testing front and center. Forty six percent of respondents only soil sample occasionally. Seventy-eight percent of farmers that use soil sampling see the information as useful, and 22% responded say they would consider zone sampling in the future.
Why Farmers in Western Canada Use or Don’t Use Soil Sampling as Part of Their Nutrient Management Planning

  • 78% of farmers had soil sampling done sometime in the past
  • 22% had never used soil sampling
  • 23% soil sample every 2-3 years
  • 29% soil sample to [...]

CropLife Canada has partnered with industry, academia, and government experts to create a website, to offer resources, and promote strategies for managing disease, insect, and weed resistance. Their latest resource is Managing Herbicide-Tolerant volunteers. See this and stay abreast of the latest knowledge and resources Manage ResistanceNow

Herbicide & Cover Crop Strategies for Managing Glyphosate-Resistant Fleabane

Weed herbicide resistance is one of the most serious management  issues ratedfby growers, agronomists and researchers . In Eastern Canada at the top of that list is glyphosate-resistant fleabane (GRFB). First identified in southern Ontario in 2010, GRFB has spread like wildfire across Ontario and is now identified in other areas including Quebec. Fleabane seeds are small, airborne, and stick to clothing, equipment, animals. A single mature plant can produce up to 250,000 seeds/plant. Most fleabane biotypes are glyphosate-resistant, but other biotype herbicide resistance to group 2, 2 & 9, and 22 exist.Good control options exist in corn and wheat, but is problematic in soybeans.
Article-OGF: https://b.link/GRFB_oNTFARM
Ont Diagostic Day presentation: https://b.link/Sikkama_GRFB
Research report-  Dr Peter Sikkema, RCAT : https://b.link/Sikkema_GRFB

Manitoba Agriculture has developed a simple Phosphorus (P) spreadsheet calculator that allows users to input yield information and applied P during a rotation. A P balance is determined based on crop removal values, to show if soil P is being built, maintained or depleted. Phosphorus from manure applied during a rotation allows users to balance P over cropping cycle.

Phospohorus Balance Calculator (XLS)

Declining soil test phosphorus in the praries has increased interest in pushing P rates higher, following a 4R approach. Where high rates of P are required, side-banding of most or all of fertilizer P should be side-banded. Seed placed P did not provide a better canola crop response even at low rates compared to side-banded. More

How Plants Harvest Nutrients from Microbes

“plants are farming the soil microbial community”

plants are farming the soil microbial community”

It is not likely to be on the list of one of key benefits a grower would identify when talking about improving soil health. Howevver improving emergence, early root and crop growth and nutrient uptake are some of the benefits from Rhizophagy. Rhizophagy, is an important path in nutrient cycling and root developement. Rhizophagy is the cultivation by plant roots of microbes that live in root hairs & the surrounding soils to obtain nutrients. Growers are familiar with other better-known plant-microbe symbiotic relationships include legume-rhizobia symbiosis and mycorrhiza that live on root hairs.  The explosion in commercial biologicals in the market place including those applied to seed or during planting hold great promixse for promoting healthy crop-microbial rhizophagy. For a deeper understanding of the important role of rhizophagy [...]

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