Category: Blog

Posts related to Blog

Midwest Cover Crop Decision Tool
Midwestern states and Ontario are included, but we need growers and industry in other areas to push more provinces to join and contribute to make it a resource for everyone.

Great tool; regionally specific: @CoverCropsMCCC

When Does Post Emergent N in Spring Wheat work ?

Historically, split applying N in wheat has not resulted in higher yields. However, some growers intentionally may delay applying part of their nitrogen until they have better idea of yield potential or as way to boost protein. Read more in  this SaskWheat study :

Studies Question Benefit of Late split N in Corn

Results from a multi-state US split N study suggest that in only 24% of sites there was a benefit to split N. Ontario field trials indicated similar results. The greatest potential benefit was seen on soils more prone to N loss (sands & heavy clays). Read the full report from Ontario Grain Farmer:
A multispectral red-edge or NDVI image at 8-12 leaf corn can help decide if a late N application is needed & create N management zones for applicatio

Should you Apply Boron to Flowering Canola
Canola and alfalfa are two field crops with the highest requirement for boron. Canola uptake is 0.3 – 0.5 lb/ac (60 bu/ac yield), alfalfa 0.3 lb/ac (4 t/ac yield) Tissue testing for boron can be useful as soil testing has not proved reliable. Organic matter usually supplies enough boron for most crops, perhaps except very low O.M., or coarse-textured soils. Boron assists in flowering, pollination, and aids in reducing flower blasting due to heat. Limited Ontario studies utilizing foliar boron at fungicide timing, show mixed results and indicate the best opportunity for payback is under dry weather with moderate crop stress.  Read More:
Western Canada studies have generally not shown a response to soil or foliar Boron and caution about widespread use. One of the more recent foliar studies is by Sask Irrigation Crop Diversification [...]

Tissue Testing vs Soil Testing

Tissue testing asks the crop ‘ What’s wrong’ and can be money well spent for growers to confirm a deficiency, or as a check if their crop needs more nutrients. In field crops, plant analysis providing a snapshot in time of nutrient uptake and most useful to indicate when nutrient levels are below critical levels.  It can also help with evaluating fertilizer management practices, including potential micronutrient issues. Soil testing complements this information and indicates what is available and should accompany a tissue test. ISU offers updated P & K tissue testing guide for corn & soybeans:

Remember to GPS sampling locations for post-harvest soil testing with your Wintex sampler

Do you have a favourite Plant Deficiency Symptom App ?

Recently we tested out a couple of phone apps for diagnosing crop deficiency symptoms look like, their function, what soils types are prone to this deficiency, and correction recommendations. The two we tested both have some good features, but left us somewhat disappointed. We only need one app.  Ag Phd has a wide selection of crop kinds; Yara’s has a much more extensive image collection of nutrient deficiencies at different crop stages, and more agronomic information.  Both miss the mark, with nothing for lentils, chickpeas, dry beans. Let us know what your favourite app and we’ll share this in our next newsletter.

Rethinking P & K Fertility.

IPNI soil fertility

Soil surveys conducted in a number of provinces across Canada are revealing a general decline in soil P and in potash. This has come as a surprise to many growers that have fertilized based on the ‘replacement approach’ of applying amounts of nutrients removed by the crop. Growers and agronomists also have questioned the sufficiency approach recommended by many government extension services. Rightly so, crop yields are much higher than when many of these fertility research trials were done. Then came the ah-ha moment.

Provincial sufficiency approach does not include an adjustment for current or expected yields. The sufficiency approach is based on many years of university research that produced yield response curves for P & K for various soil test levels (figure 1).  Fertilizer recommendations were then based on [...]

Winter spreading can be beneficial for farmers, providing time for application on cropland and reducing the risk of soil compaction by heavy equipment. However, winter application is discouraged & under increased public scrutiny and carries an increased risk of polluting groundwater or surface water.  The biggest risk is when spread on snow-covered or frozen fields and within 72 hours of a significant rainfall or snowmelt event.
Follow this 6-point winter manure management strategy:

  1. Provincial regulations restrict/limit the spreading of manure during winter months. In Alberta for instance, spreading on frozen or snow-covered ground is prohibited (AOPA) unless special permission is received.  In Manitoba restrictions on the application of nutrients came into effect on November 10th.
  2. Which fields could benefit most from nutrients in manure? Often it becomes easiest to apply manure to fields closest to manure storage, but farmers should seek to optimize return to the value of [...]

Even though it might be the end of the season for flying your UAV, and your batteries are prepped for storage, but have you taken care of your cameras?

No matter how careful you may be, through normal use, cameras (electronics) attracts tiny bits of dust. Landing your UAV poses the greatest risk of dirt, dust, or moisture residue ending up on the lens or camera body. Keeping your camera & lens clean will help keep specks of dirt, water spots from showing up on your images, remove chances of noise when processing data, and protect your investment.

Older senseFly cameras like the Sony, Canon ELPH/S110, G9X and those with retractable lenses are susceptible to dust entering the body of the camera.

Newer cameras like senseFly’s SODA RGB camera, which is the first camera built from the ground up for senseFly drones. This camera has improved hermetic sealing but still requires proper cleaning & maintenance. 


Navigating roads can be a challenge, especially with today’s larger equipment.

About 13 percent of farm related fatalities across Canada are traffic related. Most car drivers are not familiar with sharing the road, placing more onus on equipment drivers.

Follow Provincial Equipment Transportation Rules

It is important to not only review rules about safe transport of equipment on the road, but to regularly review safe practices with family members and employees.  Consult provincial equipment transportation rules like this Ontario one (, or in Manitoba (

Learn More

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture also has a great webinar recording on the topic here:

[fp-button color=’secondary’]View Presentation[/fp-button]

Back to top