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High intensity, high yield. Canola plots at Ag In Motion

Ag In Motion Plots: A look back at some of the canola plots at the show

The best thing about an outdoor farm show is the opportunity to actually see crops growing and take a look at real-life equipment working in the field.

With the Canola 100 Agri-Prize challenge underway, Glacier FarmMedia saw the Ag In Motion outdoor farm show near Saskatoon in July as the perfect opportunity to demonstrate high-intensity canola management methods that get us closer to growing 100 bushels of canola per acre. (Glacier FarmMedia owns both Grainews and Ag In Motion).

With a good-sized area of land available, Ag In Motion set up farm-scale 600-foot canola plot trials between the parking lot and the main show. During the show, the canola plants were flowering nicely, providing a great welcome for show visitors.

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These plots gave farmers a look at some canola plots that were managed very intensely. Participating companies used the space to showcase some of their new products and methods. While not all of the methods used in these plots would be economically feasible for farm-scale implementation, they are a great way for show visitors to take a look at what could be possible when it comes to canola yields.

The plan was to have farmers get a look at the plots during Ag In Motion, then to harvest the plots and release the yield results at the end of the season. Corporate reps and AIM staff hoped that at least one of the plots would yield 100 bushels per acre or more.

But, as you know, farming does not always go as planned. The plots were seeded on June 7 — later than originally planned, and not exactly ideal for high canola yields in Saskatchewan. Snow on October 4 wasn’t part of the original plan either. Day after day of rain after that snowfall pushed harvest into November. With all of these complications, we don’t have yield results to report. As they say, farming country is “next year country.”

Like all western Canadian farmers, we’ve decided to make the best of this unfortunate weather situation. We’re going to tell you how five different companies planned to get the best yield from their crops.

Each of these companies (Agrium, ATP, BASF, Dow, and Agrium) was free to use its own products and programs on their plots, AIM managed the plots, and many of the parameters were the same across all of the plots. For example, each company used the same variety of Proven Seed.

The rotation on the fields used for the plots wasn’t the four-year rotation recommended by many agronomists. It had been seeded to Roundup Ready canola in 2012, wheat in 2013, Roundup Ready canola again in 2014 and wheat again in 2015. On June 7, staff seeded the plots with five pounds per acre of Proven 540 G treated with Lumiderm. They sprayed all the plots with glyphosate on June 28. Some companies planned to swath their canola and others planned to straight cut, but with the delayed harvest, we can’t use these plots to compare the two approaches.

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