Spring has Sprung!

It’s spring in southern Alberta! A new research year has begun!

At Farming Smarter, we’re out in the field and getting our hands dirty. We have seeds in the ground and plans in motion. Our ultra early seeding trials were planted in mid-March, but the bulk of our seeding is yet to come!

Here’s what we have going on at Farming Smarter:

Custom Research

Brendan Roy (left) and Trevor Deering (right) go over their seeding path for an ultra early seeding trial.

Our Custom Research team, led by the daring Trevor Deering, plans to start their regular seeding by April 18. All the custom research plans will move forward in early April. Currently, we are finalizing contracts, locations, and protocols while we wait to receive products.

Right now, southern Alberta soils are warm and dry. However, we still have moisture in the forecast! While that will slightly delay seeding, the forecasts also shows that over-night temperatures are increasing.

Thankfully, our locations here at Farming Smarter seem to warm up significantly faster than other areas of the province.  We should be clear to start regular seeding soon!

If you’re doing a project with our custom research team, contact Trevor Deering for an update if you haven’t already! Don’t hesitate to send us what we need to ensure your trial is established on time, and to your specifications.

Agronomy

Mike Gretzinger loves being out in the field!

Innovation & optimization is the name of the game for our Agronomy team, led by the intrepid duo of Mike Gretzinger and Dr. Gurbir S. Dhillon!

This year, they plan to bring new ideas and concepts to our fields in southern Alberta. Now that the ball is rolling with our early seeding project, the team is getting ready to seed a whole slew of projects, new and old!

Our Agronomy program is taking on two new, innovative projects – one aiming to maximize barley yields while minimizing lodging, and the other is bringing rice to southern Alberta! We’re excited to have the opportunity to explore growing rice in this ground-breaking study. 

Additionally, we’ll be exploring how to grow corn for cattle – optimizing the protein content of the crop for feed. In the realm of optimization, we’re also looking at how to grow quinoa for a better, less bitter flavour.

The cover crop trial is forgoing the cover crops this year, investigating the long-term effects cover crops have on the field. By planting only wheat, we hope to see how fields react after having cover crops versus never having cover crops.

Other than these exciting endeavours, it will be business as usual for the team. They’ll be seeding the regular trials and working on maintaining the shop and equipment, while completing soil samples of our fields.

If you’re interested in learning more about the trials our Agronomy team is doing, feel free to contact Mike or Gurbir!

Field Tested

While our Agronomy team takes to the field, our Field Tested crew is gearing up to get out there!

Led by the brilliant Lewis Baarda, the Field Tested team is preparing get their hands dirty with field work. This spring, they’ll be prepping for our new variable rate irrigation study to enter the field, amongst many other trials.

Lewis Baarda inspecting kochia patches

Right now, they’re planning the big picture and working out the logistics for the spring. This includes scouting locations, and mapping out fields for trials, and finding growers for projects. When weather permits, the Field Tested team will be able to do their kochia assessment – another reason to hope for better weather!

Coordination is key in this program, as we work alongside many industry partners and growers. Figuring out logistics is one of the harder parts of the program as sourcing supplies, equipment, and locations is paramount to its success.

If you’d like to work with our Field Tested program, contact Lewis Baarda for more information!