Part 4 of 5
The research unit run by soil scientist, Gurbir Dhillon Ph.D., and research coordinator, Mike Gretzinger, leads grant-funded research projects either led by Farming Smarter or in collaboration with researchers from other institutions.
Dhillon and Gretzinger coordinate field research activities and data collection. They also work closely with the extension unit to present at field days and provide content for extension activities. Dhillon and Gretzinger coordinate to meet research unit goals and provide accurate research.
An example of a grant funded project is the SARDA Deep Banding Immobile Nutrients project looking into increasing the efficiency of some fertilizers. It aims to improve the production of canola, peas and wheat on direct-seeded fields. The project will assess if deep banding immobile nutrients will reduce nutrient stratification. The hope is that deep banding improves nutrient uptake and crop production on land previously direct seeded. It compares one-time deep banding (3 times the recommended rate 6 inches down) at the start and annual shallow banding (current practice) of recommended rates. Watch the Plot Shot Gretzinger did about this topic in May 2020.
In a typical year, Farming Smarter has about 25-30 projects under this unit. Most projects have a three-year timeline.