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Browsing Category Nutrient Stewardship

Potatoes and biochar are not friends

Studies have shown that adding biochar to soil can improve soil fertility, increase nutrient utilization in plants, improve soil water-holding capacity, increase crop yield and reduce emission of greenhouse gases. However, if you are a potato farmer, your joy may be short-lived. Biochar and potatoes do not go very well together – at least not if you are aiming at saving water, according to results from Aarhus University in Denmark. During her…

Potato funding announced for Manitoba

The Canada and Manitoba governments have invested more than $210,000 in a new vegetable research site near Winkler, Man., focused on improving yields, developing new varieties and creating opportunities for potato, sweet potato and carrot growers. The announcement was made today by federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. Funding will be provided through Growing Innovation – Capacity Knowledge and Development to support research focused on: • nutrient…

4R Nutrient Stewardship

4R nutrient stewardship represents an innovative approach to nutrient best management practices. Proponents of applying this concept to potato production believe that the principles of this approach provide a sound framework for growers to achieve cropping system goals, such as increased production, increased farmer profitability, enhanced environmental protection and improved sustainability. In essence, 4R nutrient stewardship implies that growers put the following best management practices in place in terms of the nutrient…

No Winter’s Rest for Soil

In recognition of the profound importance of soil for human life, the United Nations has named 2015 as the International Year of the Soils. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supports this and another UN initiative, World Soil Day, which took place Dec. 5, 2014. With the benefit of new funding from the government’s Growing Forward 2 program, AAFC researchers are investigating biological processes in the soil in an effort to identify better ways…

Sustainability Matters

In November of 2012, the government of Prince Edward Island, the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture, the P.E.I. Potato Board and the Kensington North Watersheds Association all signed a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Fertilizer Institute to further the industry’s goal of increasing environmental sustainability in the province through improved fertilizer use. The agreement is entitled the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding, the four R’s referring to “right source, right rate,…

Best Practices: Irrigation and Fertility Management

BIOGRAPHIES Homer VanderZaag grows about 900 acres of potatoes, primarily chipstock for Frito-Lay, near Alliston, Ont. Rob Van Roessel, chairman of the Potato Growers of Alberta, farms 390 acres of Russett Burbanks in Bow Island, Alta. Jason Kehler grows Russett Burbanks and Innovators on 450 acres at his farm near Carman, Man. Gary Linkletter is chairman of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board and farms 1500 acres of potatoes near Summerside, P.E.I….

The Balancing Act

Recent liming research completed in Prince Edward Island shows that applying lime to the soil does not increase the occurrence of scab when scab-free seed is planted. Robert Coffin, president of Potato Consulting Services Inc., conducted the lime research trials on his farm near Green Bay, P.E.I. last year. Scab, a bacterial disease, is a major problem worldwide that can impact tuber quality. Coffin’s liming trials generated much interest, as very little…

Novel Soil Amendment Products

Fertile soil is one of the most important elements of successful crop production. Arable farmers have used soil amendments to enhance soil properties for centuries, and soil specialists around the world agree that soil organic matter is a crucial determinant of plant health. An increase in the soil’s organic matter content vastly improves the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and make them available to plants, with the added benefits of improved soil…

Advances in Soil Sampling and Analysis

Regular soil sampling and testing are crucial elements for achieving a sound and accurate fertility program. Fertilizer management is a critical factor influencing the profitability and sustainability of potato production, as fertilizer products represent a substantial input cost for producers. Thus, regular soil sampling and testing are important aspects of fertilizer management. A soil test is in essence the analysis of a soil sample from a particular field to determine nutrient and…

Soil Sampling Guidelines for Better Soil Test Results

All potato growers in Canada are aware of the reality that these days, potato production is subject to high input costs as well as increasing demands to protect the environment. Most potato farmers are utilizing nutrient management plans to better manage their inputs at rates that can sustain crop production while at the same time conserving the environment. NMPs require current, representative and accurate soil test results. Ultimately, the goal of soil…

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