Research roundup

FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF RESEARCH

For better nutrient application, try the old 4 Rs
Samantha Beattie
Every spring, growers face the age-old problem of determining the best soil nutrient applications, without sacrificing yields or impacting the environment.

With that in mind, University of Guelph Professor John Lauzon, School of Environmental Sciences, is part of a team investigating what the International Plant Nutrition Institute has recently referred to as the 4-Rs – the right rate, right time, right place and right source of nutrient application.

“Phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium are fairly expensive inputs, so if we can fine-tune fertilizer application we may be able to use lower rates and achieve the same or greater plant response, especially if growers are producing nutrient-intensive crops such as corn,” says Lauzon.

In particular, Lauzon has found that if phosphorous is placed close to germinating seeds and early growth roots, it’s absorbed more readily than when broadcasted over an entire field. That’s because when in the soil, phosphorous has very low mobility.

Collaborators include Professors Claudia Wagner-Riddle, Bill Deen, Hugh Earl, Ivan O’Halloran, Laura Van Eerd and Gary Parkin.

Funding is provided by the Partnership Agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs, Ontario Forage Council and the Ontario Canola Growers Association.

New tank mixes fight weeds, disease and increase yield at the same time
Andrea Seccafien
Recently approved herbicides in Ontario give farmers more ways to protect crops; but new research is needed to find the right tank mix of herbicides and fungicides for weed management in winter wheat.

University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus Professor Peter Sikkema has evaluated new herbicide and fungicide tank mixes for weed and disease control in winter wheat.

In Sikkema’s early steps of a three-year study, he mixed Puma Advanced, Peak + Pardner and Trophy herbicides with Twin Line, Stratego, Quilt and Acapela fungicides.

The results from these tank mixes showed minimal crop injury. As well, the injury observed was transient — no crop injury was shown four to eight weeks after application.

The tank mixes also resulted in a four bushel per acre increase in yield.

“The good news for farmers is that tank mixing herbicides and fungicides provides excellent protection against both weeds and diseases with minimal injury and increased production,” says Sikkema.

This research is funded by Grain Farmers of Ontario.


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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