Western Canadian farmers looking to connect with some of the latest research in crop fertility can log onto a fairly new online resource developed by Nutrien, which delivers field-tested, science-based facts geared to helping producers get the most out of their fertilizer dollars.
Nutrien has created a website called eKonomics that brings together reports on extensive crop fertility research for a wide range of crops grown across North America.
The Nutrien eKonomics site builds on some of the long-standing research conducted over the years by PotashCorp and Agrium before the companies merged in 2018 to create the new Nutrien entity, explains Alan Blaylock, a senior agronomist with Nutrien based in Loveland, Colo.
Blaylock, who obtained his PhD in soil science from Iowa State University, says while PotashCorp research focused on potassium and Agrium research leaned more toward nitrogen, the more than dozen specialists on the Nutrien soil fertility research and extension team are involved with research that involves all macro- and micronutrients important to most field and horticultural crop production.
“With our team of agronomists located across North America, our research involves a number of different crops depending on the region,” says Blaylock. “Western Canadian farmers will find a lot of relevant research involving wheat and barley and canola crops. We haven’t done a lot of work with pulses, but our program and this site is a work in progress. New information is always being added.”
The home page of the eKonomics website includes several buttons with drop-down menus. Under ROI Tools, for example, producers will find several online calculators to help them determine the payback on various nutrients, crop staging based on growing degree days and nutrient removal for different crops at different yields.
The Research button features several pages of reports on various crop fertility topics. The News section looks at what research has to say about a number of crop fertility topics, such as four reasons to con- sider annual potassium application; cover crops and nitrogen management; the top three causes of yellow wheat; and some of the lesser known advantages of starter fertilizers, as examples.
The menu under the Agronomics button includes a question and answer section from farmers, farm profiles, tips for farmers and an Ask an Agronomist feature.
“For specific questions, we’d encourage farmers to first connect with their local retailer and then from there questions can be posed to the appropriate specialists as needed,” says Blaylock.
Also, at different locations on the eKonomics site, producers can send e-messages to agronomists or post questions on Twitter.
“Our research files include a lot of relevant information for farmers on studies that have been done over the years by government and university agriculture researchers,” says Blaylock. “But our team is also always working on current and timely topics and issues related to crop fertility. And because it is research work based on scientifically sound research practices, it is information that producers can trust.”