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Match Nitrogen to plant needs

by Heather Grande

Farming Smarter, in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), teamed up to discover Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer options.

This project researches rates and source of nitrogen fertilizers. In the first two years of this five-year project, they noted nitrogen fertilizer form, rate, and placement/timing affected grain yield and protein. Two sites (Lethbridge & Scott) of five reported Super Urea (SuperU®) increased grain yield and protein compared to the controls and other N forms.

Dr. Tom Jensen covered the history, the present and what the future may bring for soil fertilizers and prairie soil management practices.

Differences in grain yield and protein caused by placement/timingm of nitrogen varied based on the location.

Advanced efficiency fertilizer products mitigate the loss of nitrogen due to denitrification, leaching and volatilization.

Dr. Brian Beres, senior scientist with AAFC at Lethbridge Research Centre, talked about the importance of matching the nitrogen release to the plants’ natural intake to ensure they have sufficient nutrients to maximize yield and protein.

“We’re looking at it from no nitrogen to an extremely high rate of nitrogen and how the responses change from untreated forms of nitrogen to an advanced efficiency fertilizer,” said Beres. Working with Farming Smarter, Dr. Beres’ research reaches a large audience through its newsletter, videos, website and media presence.

The Alberta and Saskatchewan Wheat Commission and industry partners such as Nutrien, and Corteva fund this project.