On July 24, Crops-a-palooza brought together 10 different hosting organizations, a handful of corporate sponsors, and government researchers and other volunteers. More than 200 farmers and agronomists came out to see the crops and research on display at the Canada-Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre at Carberry, Manitoba.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada agronomist Curtis Cavers spent most of the day standing in a hole. Soil researchers had brought out a backhoe to provide an opportunity for farmers to get a good look at the soil profile, more than a metre down. The soil on the site happened to be well-drained, with no compacted layers. “This is as close to an ideal soil profile as you can get,” Cavers said. Visitors were reminded that soil profiles can vary greatly on a farm, or even within a field.
The dark layer covering about six or seven inches at the top of the pit, Cavers said, “could be the old plow layer.”
Cavers said this pit was dug in an area with nice soil. “It’s a nice structure, it holds lots of moisture.” In late July, the soil was holding about eight to 10 inches of moisture. “The crop’s using about a third of an inch of water per day right now. That’s a month’s supply of stored moisture when you get going.”
The pH of the soil in this particular spot, Cavers said, was about 6.0, because the spot is so well drained. In other areas of this same field, the pH varies, and do so other soil properties. “The biggest mistake you can make is to assume it’s uniform,” Cavers said.
Cavers was enthusiastic about this opportunity to show farmers the soil in this specific spot, but he was encouraging farmers to go home and take a good look at their own soil. “Remember what you see here so you can compare it.” He hopes farmers will consider the soil profile they’d expect to see in a different situation, and think about how the soil profile matters to the growing plants.
Ten different Manitoba commodity organizations came together to host Crops-a-palooza at Carberry, Man. on July 24:
- Manitoba Canola Growers Association
- Manitoba Corn Growers Association
- Manitoba Oat Growers Association
- Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers
- Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers
- National Sunflower Association
- Winter Cereals Manitoba
- Canola Council of Canada
- Hemp Genetics International
- Keystone Potato Producers Association