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Digital Corner

by Dale Cowan

As we move closer toward soybean harvest we also move closer to data harvest. Truckloads of soybeans can often `be referred to as truckloads of data. It is the time of year to reconnect with our Crop Specialists and review the harvest plan and especially so if there are trials involved. It can range from variety comparison to fertility trials and different seed treatments. Collecting the yield data and other pertinent information allows for analysis of the treatments. This analysis can lead to valuable insights into product performances. Often we may have more than one site of the same trial and combining more data across different fields adds even more value. Proof of concept of many new products entering our market place can be properly assessed with field trials. These field trails often have replicated treatment strips with the check ( no treatment) beside them. This allows for a valid comparisons of the “new” against the current practices. The results are used to determine if the new product is worth trying on more acres next year.

This is the heart of our MiField Trial Program, working with cooperators to try new and novel products under real world farming conditions.

The trials range from our traditional approach of marking treatments with flags at planting or application time and arrange for a weigh wagon to be present at harvest time to collect the yield data. This approach requires a lot of coordination and planning from application through to harvest. Sometimes the data gets missed as plots can get harvested before the weigh wagon shows up.

The current technology available on farms and with AGRIS, facilitatesreplicated trails with “as applied technology” on board applicators to record precisely where the treatment was applied and when. This is then followed up with the yield map from the combine. Once data is shared into our mapping system a very quick yield by product analysis can be performed with our analytics program.

This greatly improves implementing replicated trials, reduces labour and makes collecting and analyzing data easier.

The image below is a Bio-stimulant trial. The product Bio-Path was applied at sidedress timing in UAN on every other pass with straight UAN in between using a sidedress applicator with as applied technology onboard. After harvest the yield map will be shared and the analytics will determine if there was any performance advantages. 


We appreciate all of our cooperators regardless of how plots are set up. The important part is the trial and gathering the harvest data. As technology advances on farm, we must also advance our approaches to MiField Plots and utilize the technology to its fullest advantage.


Don’t be Stressing!!

by Jean Marc Guilbeault

It is no secret that farming isn’t easy and that you are faced with different challenges each day like equipment breakdowns, volatile market prices, rise of input cost, land/rent costs and just when you think you’ve had enough it’s mother natures time to take a turn. Even though the fall harvest can be vary rewarding for most growers it also comes with a lot of hard work and long hours which can cause some to feel stressed and fatigue. Here are a few tips to try and minimize stress and fatigue before and during harvest.

  • Be prepared

Leaving everything to the last minutes will get the harvest season off to a rocky start. Make sure all equipment has been checked over and repaired before heading to the field. This will minimize down time during harvest and keep you in the fields and not at the parts counter. There is nothing more stressful then being told the parts you need will be 5-7 days with rain in the forecast for tomorrow.

  • Taking Breaks
Stopping to take a break every couple hours is a good habit to get into. This will give you time to stretch your legs and give your eyes a break. Even stopping for 2 minutes every couple hours will make a big difference on how you feel at the end of the day. This is also a great excuse to do a walk around the equipment and make sure nothing has broken.

  • Staying Hydrated
No I don’t mean cracking a cold one or stopping at Tims for another coffee. Proper hydration will help keep you focus and full of energy. Make sure to mix in some water between the double doubles.

  • Sleep
It may be hard for some to get more than 4 hours a sleep a night when harvest is in full swing but most farm accidents are caused by fatigue. Making sure to give yourself enough sleep can lower the risk of making unnecessary mistakes that could harm you or a co-worker. Make sure to get a couple extra zzzzz when possible

This is only a short list of things you can do to minimize stress and fatigue. Find a way that works for you.

Happy harvest everyone.


Don't Winterize the Sprayer Too Soon! 

by Mike Veenema

The last thing you want when you're busy in the fall is another task; but, you hate to miss out on great opportunities to improve your weed control. Putting the sprayer away too soon in the fall could have you missing a great chance to get ahead of weeds that could be a problem in next year’s crop. 

Fall burndowns are becoming more popular, as herbicide resistance, and increasing weed pressure spreads throughout the trading area. Fall is an effective time to control perennials such as dandelions, thistles, bind weeds, and biennials like Wild Carrott. These species translocate nutrients to the roots to survive the winter, so it is a great time to add herbicide to their diet. 

Canada fleabane, a weed that has spread rapidly across the province, is a winter annual, meaning it can germinate throughout the fall and survive as a seedling or small rosette over the winter. Spraying it with effective chemistry in the fall can greatly reduce establishment of larger weeds, therefore reducing the population and overall weed pressure in the spring. Fall may also allow for ideal conditions to use group 4 chemistry that may not be an option for some operations to use in the spring due to sensitive crops or areas.

Blue grass is becoming a more widespread problem as well. There are a couple of options that will greatly increase control of this weed as well. It is persistent and controlling it in the fall will allow for a crop to get established in the spring and provide competition to suppress it.

Talk with your local crop sales specialist, to customize a program that works best and get a crop plan in place to get ahead of resistant and nuisance weeds.

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