Know Your Nutrients

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Seeding into Cold, Wet Soil

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As producers across the Prairies are anxiously awaiting the start of seeding, Old Man Winter seems very reluctant to release his grip in some parts of the region. Spring temperatures have been trending below normal and the forecast is showing an increase in precipitation for most areas across Western Canada. In early April, frost was detectable at a depth of 7-8 feet in Manitoba.

So, what does a cool, wet spring mean for farmers who want to get a jump on the season?

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Prepping for an Unusual Growing Season in Canada

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We are inching closer to the first days of seeding, and anxiety is building as producers across Western Canada continue to wrestle with the decisions that could make or break the growing season. 

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pHix Your Water For a Better Burn

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You know that pre-season burn-off is worth the investment, but if you are not conditioning your spray water first, are you just throwing money away?

Most producers in Western Canada are working with hard water from wells and dug-outs. Hard water, which is water with a dissolved mineral content of 100-200+ ppm, usually also has a high pH level (greater than 7).

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Know Your Nutrients: Why prime your seeds?

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At seeding time, there are several factors that can limit nutrient availability in the soil, such as soil temperature, moisture level and soil quality. 

One thing you can do to get your crop off to a strong start is to use a Primer. Primed seeds are not dependent on nutrient density in the seed or soil nutrients, so regardless of nutrient availability, they can germinate and emerge quickly, with strong, developed root systems.

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Know Your Nutrients: Chloride

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Chloride (Cl) is required in small quantities but is very active in plant cells. It acts with potassium to regulate stomatal openings in the leaves, controlling internal water balance, and functions in cation balance and transport. Chloride is effective in suppressing and lessening the effect of fungal infections and can advance maturity of small grains in some soils.

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Know Your Nutrients: Iron

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It’s a micronutrient needed only in small amounts, but iron (Fe) plays a critical role in photosynthesis, helping to keep crops green, healthy and thriving.

Iron is involved in chlorophyll development and plays a role in energy transfer, metabolism and respiration. It is also important for the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and can increase nitrogen fixation and use.

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Know Your Nutrients: Molybdenum

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Molybdenum (Mo) is a trace element but it has a big job. A good, albeit small, supply of molybdenum improves nitrogen uptake and conversion in plants. 

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Know Your Nutrients: Boron

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Playing a key role in a wide range of processes within the plant, boron (B) is a micronutrient that is essential to crop health.

It is important to the cellular structure of the plant, contributing to cell wall formation and stability. It is a factor in cell division and elongation, protein synthesis, metabolism and transport of sugars and starches, hormone formation, and nodule development in legumes. Given its role as an integral component of the cell wall, boron is involved in the wound healing process, repairing cell walls damaged by hail or by chewing insects.

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Know Your Nutrients: Copper

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Identifying and addressing a copper deficiency can make a big difference when it comes time to harvest. 

Copper (Cu) is a micronutrient which is only needed in trace amounts, but is involved in several key plant actions, including photosynthesis, nitrogen utilization, protein production and water regulation. Adequate copper is needed for lignin formation, affecting the overall strength of the plant, and is critical for proper seed formation.

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Know Your Nutrients: Manganese

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Manganese (Mn), a.k.a. “the activator,” is one of the nine micronutrients essential for growing a healthy crop. It is responsible for activating over 35 vital enzymes in the plant and plays an important role in regulating carbohydrate metabolism.

Manganese is a key driver of photosynthesis, acting as a catalyst for water-splitting – dividing water into its elemental parts. Manganese can also contribute to the overall health of the crop by increasing its resistance to biotic stress, such as disease, and helping it tolerate abiotic stresses, especially periods of heat and drought. 

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