GFM Network News


Broadcasting nitrogen in fall least efficient approach

It’s also the least environmentally friendly

Broadcasting in fall is the quickest and easiest way to apply nitrogen — and the least efficient. So why, anecdotally at least, does the practice seem to be on the increase? Bigger farms and a shortage of labour could be part of it. Moreover, nobody knows when poor weather will shut down field operations. And

Getting a jump on fall fertilizer

Recent rain may alter farmers’ plans, just like a dry year to date has

Recent rains in Manitoba will be welcomed by agronomists taking soil samples and farmers looking to do fall tillage work and fertilizing, according to one provincial soil specialist. John Heard, of Manitoba Agriculture, says fall soil tests remain the gold standard, in determining fertilizer needs for the crop. Agronomists often like to get a jump


Adding more nitrogen in crop, instead of in the fall or spring before planting, is one way to use nitrogen more efficiently. The 4R tour visited Tyler Russell’s cornfield near Carman where about 60 pounds of nitrogen was applied at the V4 stage. Depending on the crop, more will be applied just before tasselling.

VIDEO: On the 4R Nutrient Management Tour

Manitoba Agriculture’s John Heard, applicator operator Rod Owen and Adam McKnight of Bud McKnight Seeds discussed in-crop nitrogen application in Carman, Man. farmer Tyler Russell’s cornfield June 28 during the 4R nutrient stewardship tour.

Adding more nitrogen in crop, instead of in the fall or spring before planting, is one way to use nitrogen more efficiently. The 4R tour visited Tyler Russell’s cornfield near Carman where about 60 pounds of nitrogen was applied at the V4 stage. Depending on the crop, more will be applied just before tasselling.

Better nitrogen efficiency, now and in the future

The June 28 4R nitrogen stewardship tour looked at current research and tools that could be coming in the future

Increasing yields while applying the same or less nitrogen is good for farmers and the environment. It also sums up the goal of the 4R stewardship program. The four Rs refer to applying nitrogen to crops using the right source and rate at the right time and right place. “That’s our big challenge,” University of

Members of the Manitoba Soil Science Society celebrated the sign’s unveiling alongside Newdale residents and visiting dignitaries.

Newdale sign tells the story of Manitoba’s official soil

A committee in the village worked alongside soil scientists and others to see signs developed and placed in and around the southwestern Manitoba village. They tell the story of the province’s official soil and the farm community it’s named after

Newdale’s name is officially a “dirt-y” word and those living and farming here are proud of it. This past weekend local farm families and townsfolk unveiled a large sign on its Main Street showing how their community shares its name with the province’s official soil. The celebration comes precisely seven years to the day since


Manitoba Agriculture’s John Heard says many farmers are being forced to 
adjust their fertility strategy after a tough fall.


Farmers adjust fertility plans after tough fall

There’s still plenty of opportunity to get nitrogen on if you missed the fall application window

While spring banding of fertilizer has become more popular recently, there’s still plenty of growers putting it down in the fall. That is, unless they run into a season like last year. Many farmers throughout Manitoba struggled to just get the crop off, never mind getting their fall work done. Now they’re left with the

John Heard, crop nutrition specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, reports on phosphorus deficiency in soil and best practices during the recent 4R Nutrient Stewardship training in Brandon.

The phosphorus conundrum: low soil levels meet Lake Winnipeg pressures

Experts weigh in on managing low phosphorus levels in soil, while minimizing water health impact

Manitoba is in a difficult position of simultaneously having too much phosphorus and not enough. Manitoba Agriculture crop nutrition specialist John Heard highlighted this contradiction recently during a recent presentation at a nutrient stewardship workshop, noting phosphorus buildup in the Lake Winnipeg watershed has been a source of long-standing tension between regulators and agriculture. A

Getting fall fertility just right requires attention to detail

Keep your fertilizer on your land and out of the spring run-off

As the crop comes off some farmers are already thinking about next spring — specifically about getting a jump on things by fertilizing this fall. There are lots of compelling reasons to follow this strategy. Fertilizer prices tend to be lower this time of year, and spreading the workload out lets them get the crop


Manitoba Agriculture soil fertility specialist John Heard, soil sampling the old-fashioned way, says sampling cereals fields right after combining provides some advantages.

Soil test right after the combine

The tradition has been to sample for soil nutrients later in the fall, but there are compelling reasons to go sooner than later

It’s been the accepted wisdom to soil test as late as possible in the fall, but one soil test lab says it might pay to go earlier. Agvise Laboratories, that has soil-testing labs in North Dakota and Minnesota and a large stable of Canadian customers, told growers in a recent email it may be a

Manitoba Soil Science Society member Marla Riekman carefully encases in resin the tiny layers of Newdale Clay Loam she and colleague 
John Heard scoop into metal findings to create a unique series of jewelry made with Manitoba’s provincial soil.

Handmade jewelry tells the story of Manitoba’s provincial soil

For the past five years members of Manitoba Soil Science Society have created the unique pendant/keychains, earrings, bracelets and rings with the distinct tricoloured soil of Newdale Clay Loam

Soil is sometimes called the earth’s skin. Why not wear a little of it next to our own and tell others about it? That was the idea that came to Manitoba agronomist and then Manitoba Soil Science Society (MSSS) president Kim Brown-Livingston around the time Manitoba declared its own provincial soil — Newdale Clay Loam