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Adapting row-crop planters for enhanced crop production

Farming Smarter Project

Timeline: 2019-2022

Contact: Ken Coles

Abstract

Some crop producers are adapting planters for use in small grains and other novel crops with little scientific research to guide them. We expect precision planters can become an all-encompassing seeding tool. We think they may improve crop performance, reduce crop inputs and create an opportunity to grow new novel crops. This program will identify effective agronomic practices for these crops and help growers seize the benefits precision planters offer.

Objectives

  1. To increase crop profitability by adapting precision planters for use in small grains and pulse crops in Alberta
  2. To improve the success of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies by establishing more even crops with the use of precision planters
  3. To expand and diversify new and novel cropping options in Alberta

 

Method

Locations: Lethbridge & Brooks, AB

This program will have six separate trials. Each trial will aim to identify criteria for maximum crop performance and will provide a baseline to adapt and develop planters to seed a specific crop or crop group.

The six research trials are:

  1. Precision Pulses – 3 year small plot research trial. This trial will study precision planter agronomy with a variety of different pulse crops, and will examine row spacing, seeding rate, agronomy, etc. A proof-of-concept trial in 2018 showed  success in planting and harvesting the crops. The trial will highlight whether precision planting can mitigate disease and improve crop uniformity, seed quality and yield, essential for industry success.
  2. Field Tested: Precision Planter Research – 3 year field scale research trial. This trial is takes key findings from Farming Smarter’s small plot precision planter research program and evaluates performance in a real-world field environment, fostering adaptation development and adoption.
  3. Precision Canola – 1 year small plot research trial. This trial is an extension of Farming Smarter’s current 3-year research project developing agronomy for canola with precision planters. Current findings show very favorable results for planters on narrow rows. Farming Smarter want high statistical confidence before promoting this as best practice.
  4. Precision Durum – 3 year small plot research trial. This trial will study precision planters with durum wheat, including row spacing, seeding rate, agronomy, etc. This project will address if planters can help durum overcome stagnant yields in recent years and will focus on irrigated locations to maximize yield potential.
  5. Precision Corn – 3 year small plot research trial. This trial will build on Farming Smarter’s recent research into grain corn agronomy using planters and will explore optimal seeding practices using advanced tillage, seeding dates, and varieties.
  6. Precision Hemp – 3 year small plot research trial. (2 trials) These trials will assess optimal hemp production based on planter type and seeding rate. It will test safe rates of seed placed liquid phosphorus and evaluate plant responses such as height, stem thickness, male/female dynamics, CBD, etc.

Results

This project is currently in progress. Please check back in the future for detailed results and information regarding this project.

 

Thank You!

Recommendations

This project is currently in progress. Please check back in the future for recommendation details and information regarding this project.

 

Thank You!

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