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Perfectly Placed

Farming Smarter Project

Project Timeline: 2019-2023

Project Contact: Ken Coles



Precision planters are typically used to seed conventional row crops such as corn or soybeans, however producers are experimenting with them to plant small grains and other crops. Because many precision planters are designed to be flexible, they can be adapted for use in a variety of crops with relative ease. This research program aims to evaluate the use of precision row crop planters as an all-encompassing seeding system rather than a tool for a small group of specific crops.


  1. To increase crop profitability by adapting precision planters for use in small grains and pulse crops in Alberta
  2. To improve 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


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.

Six trials encompassed in this research program 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 last year showed that we were successful 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 focused on developing agronomy for canola with precision planters. Current findings show very favorable results for planters on narrow rows and we would like to have 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 place liquid phosphorus, and evaluate plant responses such as height, stem thickness, male/female dynamics, CBD, etc.


Please check back as this project just went in the ground.


See note above

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