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Browsing Category Nutrient Stewardship

Comparing New Nitrogen Alternatives

Nitrogen use efficiency is a topic that is an intersection of food security, environmental sustainability and economics in our agricultural production systems. We need to use nitrogen to produce a good harvest. So says Dr. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, the study’s lead investigator and an assistant professor in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. “However, by using nitrogen fertilizer we also have the risk of losing some of that…

New Publication – Plant Nutrition Diagnostics: Potato

Good nutrition is essential for supporting potato plant health and providing the necessary defense against plant disease and stress. The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), J.R. Simplot Company and Tennessee State University have collaborated on a new publication that provides readers with access to a unique collection of hundreds of high resolution photographs that document a wide range of nutrient deficiency symptoms in potato plants with remarkable clarity. Developed within a unique…

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…

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