Is it possible to seed wheat earlier in the season? If so, can you seed at temperatures between 0 and 10°C? Would cold air and soil temperatures affect yield, test weight, thousand kernel weight and emergence? This experiment aims to answer all of these questions. Two hard red spring wheat varieties (AAC Brandon and AAC Connery) were selected to be seeded as soon as ground temperature was above 0°C (May 6 for the 2021 growing season) at 56.6, 84.9 and 113.2 plants ft-2. Seeding of the same varieties at the same seeding rates also took place later in the season when ground temperatures were above 10°C (May 20).
Most of the soil organic matter is composed of humic substances (Nardi et al. 2002). Humic substances nurture plant cell membrane functions and encourage nutrient uptake. In the past ten years, there has been a growing body of evidence supporting the use of bio-stimulants in agriculture for both horticultural and field crop production systems, where they have been shown to increase root growth, enhanced nutrient uptake, and increase stress tolerance. du Jardin (2015) defined plant bio-stimulants in five categories: 1) microbial inoculants, 2) humic acids, 3) fulvic acids, 4) protein hydrolysates, and 5) amino acids, and seaweed extracts.
Fulvic acid, is of particular interest, as it is a natural chelator and thus helps facilitate migration of metal ions and nutrients across tissue membranes (Sun et al, 2012). It also retains many properties that make it ideal for foliar tank mixes, such as: (a) high solubility under different pH conditions (b) high cation exchange capacity, and (c) recorded absence of antagonistic effects with nutrients or pesticides. Owing to its low molecular weight (a few hundred Daltons), it can easily cross plant tissue membranes, and remains in solution even at high salt concentrations. All of which are considered ideal for foliar nutrient applications.
At the North Peace Applied Research Association, an experiment was designed to determine if foliar applications of Nitrogen with or without additions of fulvic acid have an effect on yield and leaf nitrogen content in canola, field pea and wheat. For field pea, only one treatment was conducted where foliar application of fulvic acid at 0.65 L ac-1 was applied at the 6th node and at the 12th node stage. This treatment was compared against a control where peas were sown in furrow with 13-33-0-15S at 120 lb ac-1. Above ground biomass was collected one week after foliar applications on each crop. For canola and wheat, the experiment was designed as a complete randomized block design with four treatments: (1) Dry urea at 150-175 lb ac-1 treated with fulvic acid at 0.3 L ac-1 applied at seeding, (2) Dry urea at seeding at 80-105 lb ac-1 followed by two foliar applications of liquid urea at 20 L ac-1, (3) Dry urea at 80-105 lb ac-1 treated with fulvic acid at 0.3 L ac-1 at seeding and two foliar applications of liquid urea with fulvic acid at 20 L ac-1 and 0.65 L ac-1, respectively and (4) seeding application of dry urea at 80-105 lb ac-1 treated with fulvic acid at 0.3 L ac-1 followed by two foliar applications of fulvic acid with a nitrogen, calcium and magnesium supplement (Nitro 18) at 0.65 L ac-1 and 20 L ac-1, respectively. In addition, a control treatment was included consisting of a sole application of dry urea at seeding at 150-175 lb ac-1.
Seeding spring wheat early has the potential to increase yield, improve grain quality, and result in earlier maturity. Early seeding may allow wheat to avoid/miss the damage caused by wheat midge and Fusarium head blight; be better suited to defend against weed competition, allowing for less pesticide usage; and be harvested earlier and at a higher grade due to the reduced risk of late season frost events and damp weather at harvest.
Performed across seven sites throughout Alberta, the ultra-early wheat trial was designed to assess whether there is an advantage to seeding spring wheat ahead of schedule. By seeding wheat early when soil temperatures range 2-6 Celsius, rather than the norm of 10-12 Celsius, might yield increase? Further, are test weight and protein values at all affected? This experiment compares wheat growth subject to three levels of differentiation: date planted, crop variety, and seeding rate. On two dates, early and normal (where normal refers to when local farmers will commonly seed their spring wheat), two varieties of wheat, AAC Brandon and AAC Connery, were sown at rates of 19, 28, and 37 seed/sq. ft., respectively. The experiment followed a complete randomized block design having treatments replicated four times.
Knowing the levels of nitrogen in your soil provides a base in which one can confidently decide on the amount of fertilizer that must be applied to achieve a desired yield. Similarly, being conscious of carbon levels in soil provides an indication of amendments required, such as manure or green manure (cover crops). To know how much N is available to the plant, a standard soil chemical test exposes soil samples from the field to a salt solution. The cations from the salt solution compete with cations on clay mineral surface exchange sites, thereby releasing N ions in solution. Extraction of nitrogen and/or carbon can also be achieved by combustion, where the soil samples are burned, and the emanating smoke is tested for C and N content. Soil chemical analyses will provide results for C as percentage of organic matter (%OM) and N as either ammonium (NH4+) and/or nitrate (NO3-) ions. The Haney soil analysis test, developed by Rick Haney at United States Department of Agriculture research station in Temple, Texas, is an alternative test to the standard soil chemical analyses for carbon and nitrogen. The Haney soil test replaces a salt solution with water as the extraction medium.
This project investigates methods to lower input costs and maximize profit, not necessarily yield. The rate of fertilizer applied to a crop should influence its growth and the amount of C and N readily available for the season. Cash crops such as canola, pea, and wheat were selected and sown under three different fertility levels (no fertilizer, 30%, and a 100% of the nitrogen rates recommended by the Haney soil test). This experiment was treated as a randomized complete block design and replicated four times. This trial will be conducted again in 2021.
There was no significant difference in canola yield when subject to either 0%, 30%, or 100% of the Haney soil test recommended fertilization levels (P=0.13). Applying 0% of the recommended nitrogen led to the lowest yield of 6.8 bu/ac; applying 100% led to the highest, 8.3 bu/ac. The C.V. is 54.8, too high for results to be accepted as reliable. As with other experiments, this is likely due to weather-induced stress.
Treatment yields all fell within the range of 6-9 bu/acre. There was no significant difference in pea yields when subject to either 0%, 30%, or 100% of the Haney soil test nitrogen recommendations (P=0.4). As with canola, the coefficient of variation coinciding with the pea yield analysis was high at 28.4. Consequently, the results are unlikely to be indicative of true treatment effects.
The mean weight yields from each of the three treatments spanned two bushels/acre (50 bu/ac to 52 bu/acre). Similarly, test weight values for each treatment were nearly the same, 63-64 lb/bu. There was no significant difference in wheat yield regardless of the level of nitrogen applied (P=0.98). Likewise, test weight values were not significantly different (P=0.47), nor were protein contents (P=0.85).
This trial compares wheat subject to differing combinations of in-furrow and foliar applied nitrogen (N) and fulvic acid (FA). Yield, test weight, and protein content was assessed. The trial will be repeated in 2021 and 2022.
There were no significant differences between the measured yields (P=0.04). Similarly, all treatments (control; soil applied nitrogen + fulvic acid; soil applied nitrogen + fulvic acid AND foliar applied nitrogen + fulvic acid) exhibited test weights too similar to be regarded as different by the statistical analysis. Test weight (P=0.52) values ranged only one lb/bu, that is, between 63.5-64 lb/bu. No significant differences were found in protein content (P=0.09).
AAC Brandon wheat yields were observed under the influence of different R.A. West Int. proprietary amendments including humic acid.
As per being a demo with only one replicate, there is not enough data to bring forth a statistically proven conclusion. Looking at the results of each respective plot, Calpak Foliar treatment yielded highest at 35 bushels per acre and exhibited the lowest test weight at 42 lb/bu. The test weights of all other treated plots ranged from 61-64 lb/bu. Protein content ranged from 10.6% to 14.5%, with Humik Blend 2 representing the former, and Humik Blend 1, the latter.
Six of the eight intercrops were shown to yield more as an intercrop than as monocrops sown separately across an equivalent area of land. These mixes included faba bean and wheat, barley and peas, oats and peas, oats and crimson clover, wheat and red clover, and barley and red lentils. As seen from the yield graph below, peas did not emerge in this year’s intercrop trial, nor did canola due to excess moisture. The C.V. value corresponding with the yield analysis is 60.3, thus results should not be considered reliable.
The annual forage trials are performed every year to report yield and forage quality of several varieties at each trial type (alternative, oat varieties, and mixes such as spring and cereal and pulse and cereal). This is a project performed with sister associations such as Battle River Research Group (BRRG), Chinook Applied Research Association (CARA), Gateway Research Organization (GRO), Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA), Mackenzie Agricultural Research Association (MARA), Peace Country Beef and Forage Association (PCBFA), and West Central Forage Association (WCFA).
CDC Austenson and Claymore displayed the highest of yields, ranging 24-26 bu/acre. These were particularly high when compared to the four least yielding varieties: Gadsby, Amisk, Trochu, and CDC Carter (P=0.001). CDC Carter had the highest test weight among the treatments at 52.5 lbs/bu, while Amisk had lowest at just over 40 lbs/bu (P=0.003). The C.V. in the yield analysis was 24.6, thus the results may not be a proper indicator of true varietal yielding potential. Such lack of confidence was likely due to 2020’s adverse growing conditions.
Yield ranged from 19-31 bushels per acre; test weight ranged from 44-60 lbs per bushel. CDC Fraser and CDC Kindersley yields of 30.5 bu/acre and 29 bu/acre, respectively, exceeded that of the other varieties (P=0.003). For test weight, CDC Clear and CDC Ascent produced significantly higher values than the subsequent 8 varieties (P<0.0001). As with feed barley, a high C.V. value in the yield analysis indicates high levels of variability in the experiment. Thus, yield results can not be considered reliable.
Canada Western Hard Red Spring (CWRS) Wheat
All varieties falling between SY Torach and AAC Connery produced similar yields, 11-16 bu/acre (P=0.03); Likewise, test weights were not significantly different among varieties aside from the lowest values exhibited in AAC Connery and Ellerslie (P=0.04). Ranging 13-13.2%, CS Jake, CDC Landmark, and Parata displayed the highest protein contents (P<0.0001). The yield analysis C.V. was 18.1, thus yield results can not be considered reliable.
Canada Prairie Spring (CPS) Wheat
AAC Foray VB alongside CS Accelerate produced the highest yields (P=0.01). No variety produced significantly different test weight values from another (P=0.07). In 2020, mean yield ranged from 25 to 40 bushels per acre, whereas last year’s NPARA yields spanned 50 to 80 bushels per acre. Test weight values ranged from 60-65 lbs/bushel. AAC Penhold and SY Rowyn had the highest protein content, at 12.94% and 12.70%, respectively, whereas AAC Foray VB had the lowest at 10.94% (P=0.02). Often, yield and protein content have an inverse relationship, AAC Foray displays this principle here as expected.
Number of plants per square foot was greater in AC Maverick, and KWS Kellie varieties in contrast to AB Advantage, CDC Cowboy and Canmore varieties (P=0.0197). Percentage of moisture content was lower in AB Advantage, Amisk and AB Cattlelac feed barley varieties; higher moisture content was found in CDC Maverick, Esma, KWS Coralie, CDC Austenson and CDC Cowboy varieties (P=0.0014).
Test weight was highest in CDC Austenson, CDC Maverick, Esma, Gadsby and Canmore varieties whereas Amisk and AB Advantage possessed the lowest (P=0.0011). Varieties that produced the greatest yield were CDC Austenson and AB Advantage, whereas Amisk and Canmore were the least yielding (P=0.0167).
Overall, CDC Austenson is the highest yielding variety with the heaviest test weight despite having a low number of plants per square foot compared to other varieties. The variety Amisk, on the other hand, was low yielding and test weight, moisture content and emergence were less than other varieties.
Similar to feed barley, emergence varied across treatments (P=0.0130). As such, CDC Copeland had a greater number of plants per square foot compared to CDC Anderson. Moisture content was higher in CDC Bow and smaller in CDC Anderson and AAC Connect (P≤0.001).
Malt barley varieties such as CDC Anderson and AAC Connect had lower test weights compared to the higher test weights found in CDC Bow (P=0.0007). There was no difference in yield among malt barley varieties (P=0.2048).
In summary, CDC Bow exhibited a heavier test weight and higher moisture content with comparable emergence to CDC Cropland. These two varieties showed values above those obtained from the CDC Anderson variety. CDC Anderson overall was lower yielding, and showed lower values of test weight, moisture content and number of plants per square foot.
The annual forage trials are performed every year to report yield and forage quality of several varieties in each trial type (alternative, oat, barley, triticale and wheat varieties as well as mixes such as spring and cereal and pulse and cereal). This is a project performed with sister associations such as Battle River Research Group (BRRG), Chinook Applied Research Association (CARA), Gateway Research Organization (GRO), Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA), Mackenzie Applied Research Association (MARA), Peace Country Beef and Forage Association (PCBFA), and West Central Forage Association (WCFA).