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Assessing current soil test based fertilizer recommendations for direct seeding systems to optimize crop production and contribution margin

Lead Researcher Kabal Gill
Co-Researcher(s) N/A
Start Date April 2013
End Date March 2016
Funding Partners Alberta Barley Commission
Status Complete

The Challenge

With the price of fertilizer continually increasing, accurate testing is required to effectively recommend fertilizer rates that mutually benefit the grower’s agronomics and economics.

The Project

Assess the effects of different seeding systems on soil test-based fertilizer rates and their differences for optimum crop production, profit margin and soil properties. Multi-year effects will also be recorded and communicated to producers and others.

The Results

No major differences were noticed between the seeding systems. Soil aggregation, water use, and root growth improved with the use of fertilizer. Soil test measurements guided the fertilizer recommendations and proved to be effective. If residual soil nutrients measured high, low rates were applied to encourage plant use of residual nutrients for a competitive yield, which was achieved.

Grower Benefits

Using soil tests to measure residual nutrients is a useful way to optimize fertilizer rates economically and agronomically. Overall, soil health increased with fertilizer - and yield was enhanced with repeated use.


Keywords: Soil test, Seeding, Direct seeding, Fertilizer, Nutrients

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