A University of Manitoba researcher is calling on Prairie farmers to talk to her about their cover crops. Yvonne Lawley, assistant professor of agronomy and cropping systems at the university, is conducting a survey across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to determine how many farmers are planting cover crops — and why. She shared preliminary results at a
Joe Gardiner of Clearwater has spent a lot of effort getting ahead of the curve on cover crops. His cover mixes can include up to 15 species in a season-long cover. He does relay cropping. He picks his seed to include a range of cool- and warm-season plants, legumes, forbs, broadleafs and grasses. He thinks
Joe Gardiner of Clearwater has an insurance policy against a wet spring next year — and it has nothing to do with MASC. Gardiner is one of a growing number of Manitoba farmers to embrace cover crops, having started the practice several years ago in an effort to increase fall grazing. This year, he jumped
It’s not enough to convince producers to give cover crops a shot — there needs to be a game plan. There are plenty of reasons why. Seed can be expensive, especially if there’s no livestock to help recoup that cost through their digestive systems. Many worry the fall seeding window is too narrow to give
When it comes to weed control, fall is often one of your best windows to find out how it’s going and what issues are on the horizon. Tammy Jones, Manitoba Agriculture weed specialist, says the fall season offers a planning window for next year and lets farmers evaluate what went right or wrong this season.
Farmers will need more than a cursory plan to reap the benefit of cover crops in the Keystone province. Cover crops have gained their champions in Manitoba. The practice is cited among other alternative grazing strategies like bale or swath grazing to extend the grazing season and, arguably, improve soil, according to livestock and forage
You can graze cattle on cover crops planted with help from Ag Action Manitoba — as long as they’re not your cattle, that is. Ag Action Manitoba is the province’s vehicle for funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) program. Cover crops are among the beneficial management practices (BMPs) it promotes to improve the environment.
It might be time to add a little spice to the potato rotation. Researchers from Washington State University have been planting mustard green manures in the year preceding a potato crop, a strategy some Manitoba agronomists believe might protect the crop and improve soil health. Many of the arguments for green manures will sound familiar
Pollinators and natural enemies of pests may improve the health of agroecosystems. Have you considered practices to enhance them on your farm? If so, we want to partner with you for an on-farm project. Project Establish flowering plants at crop field margins to determine if this habitat increases crop productivity by increasing pollinators and natural
On the surface intercropping is a simple idea — grow two crops together in one field and take advantage of the synergies that result. Proponents say it helps build the farm’s bottom line and soil health while lowering dependence on expensive inputs. But underneath that simple idea is an array of complicated decisions and compounding