Research roundup

FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF RESEARCH

Planting now for high yields later
Natalie Osborne and Joey Sabljic
Selecting late maturing soybean varieties and planting them earlier in the growing season has been found to be a winning management combination that can significantly improve yields for Ontario grain farmers.

Horst Bohner, a soybean specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, is leading a three year study in collaboration with the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus.

He and his team have found that combining longer soybean varieties with earlier planting results in an average yield increase of three bushels per acre – and 10 bushels per acre when compared to late planting.

“The thing to realize is that generally early planting yields more, but the final outcome will still depend on the weather,” says Bohner. “But I wouldn’t start before April 20th and I would wait for good growing conditions.”

Planting earlier in the season can leave soybeans vulnerable to harsher weather conditions. To protect plants, the researchers recommends combining a seed treatment such as CruiserMaxx with a soil inoculent.

Bohner says that the  next step will be to provide more accurate recommendations so that farmers can match the late-maturing soybean variety best suited to the specific climates of their region.

This research is funded by the Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Agricultural Adaptation Council of Canada, the Farm Innovation Program and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Guelph, OMAFRA researchers launch field crops news site
Joey Sabljic
With field crops such as corn and soybeans in peak, profitable form, many producers are engaged in professional development – attending producer meetings, seminars, etc. – to keep in step with the latest research news.  

Now, University of Guelph Plant Agriculture Prof. François Tardif has teamed up with Mike Cowbrough, Weeds Lead, Field Crops from the Ontario Ministry Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to design, create and manage a field crop research news website – called fieldcropnews.com – that will keep field crop producers in the loop and function as a massive archive where they will be able to access research information at any time.  

Having this research information available online allows Tardif and his fellow researchers to bring in multimedia content such as helpful illustrations, photos and instructional videos, detailing day-to-day issues such as the best nitrogen application times or techniques for dealing with troublesome pests. 

“The site gives farmers a resource that they can go back and access whenever they need a piece of key information,” says Tardif. “We can make sure that the site is current, that it’s updated and responsive to the information that farmers are looking for.”

Funding is provided by Agri-Food and Rural Link, the hub for knowledge translation and transfer (KTT) at the University of Guelph, through the OMAFRA-U of G Partnership. •


Research Roundup is provided by members of SPARK (Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge) at the University of Guelph’s Office of Research. For more information, contact a SPARK writer at 519-824-4120, ext. 52667.

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