High Performance Plant Nutrition at Work

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Have you “fungal-screened” your seed lot?

Have you “fungal-screened” your seed lot?

Many reports over the course of the winter suggest that we can expect issues with the quality of cereals and pulses this spring, caused by the heavy rainfall and high moisture levels experienced during the summer and fall of 2016. The excessive moisture has made it challenging to control diseases and keep harvested seeds healthy.

Excess moisture also affects the seed’s ability to dry up and achieve proper dormancy, thereby affecting germination and vigor. This spring, it won’t be surprising to see farmers seeding crops with germination and vigor below normal. To make matters worse, the high level of seed-borne pathogens will limit growth and cause a wide variety of damping-off, root rot and other early-season seedling diseases, which will thin stands and set the crops back in their growth and development.

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Spray Water Quality: Hard Water vs Soft Water

Spray Water Quality: Hard Water vs Soft Water

Have you ever wondered if you have hard or soft water? Perhaps you’ve heard or been a part of a conversation regarding water being hard or soft and wondered what exactly that means. You may have also noticed scaling and deposits left by hard water on the interior or exterior of plumbing and pipes. Maybe this didn’t bother you because, after all, water is water, isn’t it? But, consider this — what if the water quality that affects your drinking and shower water also makes a difference in the chemistry of what you are spraying on your crops?

The Basics

Water in its natural form doesn’t contain any minerals and is considered “soft.” However, when it contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals, especially calcium (carbonate) and magnesium, it becomes “hard.” Water often picks up these minerals when passing through materials such as limestone. Calcium and magnesium also increase the pH of the water, with magnesium having twice as much impact as calcium.

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Product Spotlight: Primers

Product Spotlight: Primers

Harvesting more bushels on the same acreage over the years leads to a diminishing reserve of essential nutrients in the soil and to a lower nutrient density in the seed. Once grasslands, Western Canadian Prairie soils have been converted to agriculture, used for high value crops such as cereals, canola, pulses, potatoes and others. Crop removal keeps increasing while replenishment remains the same or diminished, due to a variety of factors, such as tighter rotations, tighter budgets and slow mineralisation. It is no surprise to see sluggish crops struggling for emergence and establishment early in the spring.

To remediate the lack of essential nutrients in the seed, seed dressings, also known as Primers®, were developed back in the early 2000s to provide the seed with enough nutrients to carry it through until the root systems can develop and tap into the side-banded fertilizer. Most Primers were formulated with a phosphorus, potassium and zinc base – nutrients not readily available to the crop at seeding due to cold and/or wet conditions.

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