Friday October 24, 2014

Plots provide producer information

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Charlotte Ward, a forage specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture talks forgages.

The research projects being undertaken by Parkland College and the East Central Research Foundation are designed to provide data of interest to area farmers.

So it was not a surprise the first plots visited on their field day last week were those looking at the impact of seeding date of soybeans, a relatively new crop for area farmers which is drawing a lot of interest.

“I’m not here to try to convince you guys in Yorkton that you should be growing soybeans,” offered Claude Durand with North Star Genetics, a commercial seed seller cooperating on the trail work.

That said, Durand said the area in which soybeans can successfully be grown is getting larger, adding there are shorter season varieties that fit the area.”

Durand said while seeding date is a consideration, the real key in making sure the soil is the proper temperature.

“You want a warm soil,” he said, adding ideally that is a seed bed at 10C, and certainly not below 8C.

“Cold will just mess up its (soybean’s) metabolism. It’s something it never really recovers from,” he said.

Once soybeans emerge, there are varieties which have a level of cold tolerance.

“We did identify some varieties that definitely weren’t cold tolerant. They’ve been pulled off the shelf for Saskatchewan,” said Durand.

Since warmer soils are needed, Durand said soybeans are often best grown following canola, since “canola stubble is a little more black and warms up a bit quicker.” He added in Manitoba where soybeans have been gown longer a common practice is to work the field pre-seeding to get it blacker to warm.

Canaryseed is something of a niche crop, but the niche may be about to grow much larger, said Bill May with Agriculture Canada out of Indian Head.

May explained the process is ongoing to have canaryseed approved for human consumption. As a gluten free cereal it would immediately gain interest from that sector of the food industry and could grow from there “once the licensing process is complete.”

With a much bigger potential market on the horizon, there is increased in the fertility of canaryseed, said May, adding the crop is one which appears to get a positive response from some fertilizer additions others crops do not respond too,

As an example, applying 20 pounds of chloride has resulted in a 20 to 30 per cent yield increase in canaryseed in trials, offered May.

“There’s more response to chloride than any other cereal,” he said.

The trials in Yorkton have plots with added sulfur, copper, manganese and boron, looking to determine yield influence,

“You can notice the difference in vegetative production,” noted May.

A third set of plots had the attention of beef producers in attendance as they focused on the influence of seeding date on annual crops grown for green feed, or swatch grazing.

Charlotte Ward, a forage specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture stationed in Yorkton, said often producers delay green feeding planting until they can first access funds for unseeded acres. That pushes seeding until late June, and the trials are designed to quantify how much crop potential is lost by such a late planting.

The Yorkton trial has plots of oats, barley, triticale and golden millet, some planted May 22, and others June 25.

Overall at the Yorkton sites researchers are testing soybean varieties by seeding date, canaryseed fertility, oat varieties by nitrogen rate, wheat and canola with Environmentally Smart Nitrogen technology, wheat fungicide timing and cereal forage.

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