Field Boundary Habitat

Field Boundary Habitat (FBH) refers to areas of agricultural fields that are not farmed for a variety of reasons, including poorly drained soils, sodic soils, thin or rocky soils, steep slopes, or the presence of heavy tree cover. Small areas devoted to windbreaks, fencelines, terraces, waterways, stream buffers, or permanently retired headlands can also beContinue reading “Field Boundary Habitat”

Carbon Sequestration and Agricultural Landscapes

Carbon sequestration in agricultural landscapes is a promising climate change solution. BUT there are significant challenges for implementing carbon sequestration projects in production agriculture contexts, according to the World Bank. The Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) MRV Sourcebook for Agricultural Landscapes lays out these challenges in detail. Is carbon sequestration in agricultural landscapes a viable climateContinue reading “Carbon Sequestration and Agricultural Landscapes”

Maximizing Post-harvest Residue in Dryland Production Systems

No-till/high residue practices in dryland grain, pulse, and oilseed commodity production are now common across the Canadian Prairie provinces and are increasingly being used on the U.S. High Plains from Montana to the Texas Panhandle. No-till/high residue practices have largely replaced tillage and chem-based fallow on farm operations where they are utilized. Typically, off-season coverContinue reading “Maximizing Post-harvest Residue in Dryland Production Systems”

Winter Barley Variety Trials and Development

Overwintered small grains have long been staple cash crops of the Canadian Prairies and U.S. Plains. Traditionally, winter rye, winter wheat, and triticale are the only small grain varieties with sufficient cold tolerance to be viable cash crops. However, recent trials and development of winter barley varieties shows that barley could be added to theContinue reading “Winter Barley Variety Trials and Development”

Cover Cropping and Double Cropping following an Over-wintered Cash Crop South of the 43rd Parallel

Options for growing overwintered cash crops in relatively cold and dry climates have improved over the past ten or so years. Beyond the standbys of winter rye, winter wheat, and triticale, some other small grains and brassica oilseeds can now be grown as overwintered cash crops. The harvest of overwintered cash crops in locations northContinue reading “Cover Cropping and Double Cropping following an Over-wintered Cash Crop South of the 43rd Parallel”

Row Crop Planters for Small Seeded Crops?

Small-seeded crops like small grains and canola are usually seeded with box drills or air seeders. The issue with most box drills or air seeders is that they offer poor seed singulation and uneven depth control, which can lead to uneven seed distribution and uneven seedling emergence. This can be especially problematic in no-till/high residueContinue reading “Row Crop Planters for Small Seeded Crops?”

Reduce herbicide use by combining weed prevention and control tactics

Combining weed prevention and control tactics may result in successful weed management that is less dependent on herbicides. Some significant benefits to reducing herbicide use are lowered production costs and the ability to counter herbicide resistance. This article by Randy Anderson (USDA ARS) compares the effectiveness of weed control tactics in dryland wheat-summer fallow rotationsContinue reading “Reduce herbicide use by combining weed prevention and control tactics”

No-till planting/seeding in “hard, dry, and dusty” conditions

Good tips on no-till seeding in “hard, dry, and dusty” conditions from a 2012 Exapta Solutions newsletter. John Deere row crop planters, box drills, and air seeders are referenced, but the principles discussed could be applied to make/model of planter, drill, or air seeder. Main points are understanding how down pressure is applied to frameContinue reading “No-till planting/seeding in “hard, dry, and dusty” conditions”

Hybrid Small Grains

Hybrid corn, millet, and sorghum varieties have dominated the production of these crops in Canada and the U.S. since the 1970s thanks to their high yield potential, disease resistance, and other traits that hybrids can offer. For the most part, open-pollinated varieties of these grains have been relegated to specialty grain markets and forage/silage production.Continue reading “Hybrid Small Grains”

Open Access Soil Science Resources For Soil Health Practitioners

Production agriculture in Canada and the U.S. has traditionally viewed soil as a growing medium that declines in function after it is converted from “natural” land cover to agricultural production. Soil health practices have demonstrated that agricultural soil function can be (and should be) enhanced through a number of different soil management strategies. Such strategiesContinue reading “Open Access Soil Science Resources For Soil Health Practitioners”