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Wendland ag agronomy

Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013

Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013

WEndland WEndland Ag Ag Agronomy Agronomy

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Planning Ahead to Plan




arm Business Planning is one of the most important and useful exercises involved in the development and the operation of a farm. Not only is this process key to success in helping to understand and articulate what your farm enterprise will look like, it is also important in building a farm development plan that is economically sustainable. It is also essential in obtaining the funding to operate, purchase land, equipment, and other necessary resources from lending institutions, investors, or grant-making agencies. Nowadays, Crop Input Planning has increased in importance as well and is something that needs to be planned early, not left to springtime. Another very important planning exercise in the operation and development of a farm business is Succession Planning. A Farm Business Plan is a business development map. Not only does it show your end destination, but it maps out your travel path. It sets out realistic goals and how your business will achieve these goals. Every business venture can benefit from the preparation of a carefully written business plan. The purpose of the business plan is to: 1. Help you think through the venture and ensure that you have considered all options and anticipat-

ed any potential difficulties. 2. Serve as an operating guide as you turn your ideas into a viable business. 3. Aid in arranging strategic alliances and obtaining contracts. 4. Convince potential funding program managers, lenders and investors that the proposed venture has merit and that you are in control of the project. Crop Input Planning has really changed over the years as well. Gone are the days of dropping into your crop input retailer early in the spring and getting what you need. A lot of thought and discussion needs to happen early in order for farms to secure supply and make sure that they are taking advantage of pricing, logistics and supply incentives. From a fertilizer standpoint, farmers need to start thinking about the “next year” as early as July or August of the current year. With adequate storage on the farm, product can be put into place as early as yearend and throughout the winter months. The advantage of this is that some or all of the farms’ fertilizer requirements will be “onfarm” and ready to go. NH3 is a bit different but discussions and commitment should happen from early fall and into the early winter months to secure supply. Today, even early commitment on Crop Protection products has increased. Not everything can be committed to before the problem has been identified but a good portion of pests do not change and with the increased frequency of field visits with or without Agronomists, farmers know a good portion of the pests that

will be present in the coming year. A couple of advantages of securing your crop protection product needs early are guaranteeing supply and taking advantage of programming. Farm Succession planning is essential to the process of passing a farm on to the next generation as smoothly and successfully as possible. Today it is often difficult for children of farmers to take over the family farm. Farm equity is often the default retirement plan for farmers, so they need the money they have invested in it, and can’t simply give it to the next generation. And financing for the next generation wishing to buy the farm can be difficult in this era of high land values, and tight credit markets – not to mention the difficulty of beginning to make payments on a loan before ever bringing in a crop. In cases where there are multiple siblings, equitable distribution of inheritable assets can be an issue. Understanding rules related to taxes, land transfers, incorporation, etc. can be extremely important. And there are numerous interpersonal and values issues that often need to be dealt with in succession arrangements. Careful, well thought-out plans are very important in successful farming operations today. There are a lot of resources available to help plan on the farm. If you have any questions, want to discuss or need help finding the right resource, please contact your Wendland Ag representative. Have a great, safe and successful spring! “Plan” on contacting Wendland Ag for any of your needs…. Page 1

Food for thought

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Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013

Wendland ag agronomy

Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013


Highlights from 2012 Trials



he following is a summary of our 2012 trials with the highlights being focused on. If you want more information on these trials please contact any of the Wendland Ag employees. Keep in mind that this is only one year worth of data. Our canola varieties had interesting results. In Waldheim Nexera 1012 outperformed the rest for the first time by yielding 16% better than the overall average of 46.31 bu/ac, with the closest variety (Canterra 1970) only doing 4% better than the average. V12 and DK 73-45 performed just above average which shows that both are still good options for this coming year. The best Invigor variety by far was L130 which did 7% better than the rest of the invigors and was in 3rd place overall. In Delmas, Canterra 1990 outperformed the rest with DK 74-44 coming in 2nd, and out yielding the Pioneer varieties. We also showed the value of specialty oil varieties where NX 2012 outperformed BY6060 by $11/ac even though it yielded 0.5 bu/ac less. This makes you realize that it is not always about yield. In 2013, Vibrance will be added to Cruiser Maxx Cereals and we have seen an average increase of 1.5 bu/ac over just straight Cruiser Maxx Cereals. We will be testing the effect of Vibrance even more this coming season, but so far it is showing very promising results. If you were not a big believer in fungicides before I hope you became one last year, as we sure did. In a trial that Brett Galambos did on canola last year, Proline (Bayer) performed 18.3 bu/ac better than the check and had 35% less Sclerotinia infection. Now that is the best insurance you can buy! It is

Seed Primer

Seed Primer and foliar app with herbicide

Seed Primer and foliar app with herbicide and fungicide apps







Awaken ST


Precede Zn/Mn


Superseed & Super C3


Awaken ST & Black Label Cereals


Precede Zn/Mn & Releaf WA (1L/ac)


Awaken ST & Alpine (2L/ac)


Precede Zn/Mn & ReLeaf WA & 42 pHi Ca



a potential savings of $201/ac (at $11/bu). Astound (Syngenta) performed 13.9 bu/ac better than the check. In a trial Colleen Murphy did in Delmas, Proline and Astound performed 10 bu/ac better than the check, but Vertisan (Dupont) only gave 1 bu/ac increase over the check. The timing and economics of Fusarium fungicides was also tested and showed that a combination of a flag leaf and heading application gave a very good ROI. Fusarium fungicides at heading also proved to be very beneficial with net returns of up to $135/ac on wheat. Diseases in peas are on the increase and we showed an increase of up to 6bu/ac last year. With peas being so sensitive to diseases we will have to start considering two fungicide applications. We at Wendland Ag Services concentrate a lot on nutrition because we believe that it is still an area where we can influence the

crop the most. In a trial (Table 1) at Waldheim, we tested different nutrient systems (ALL treatments had a herbicide and a fungicide application). With just seed primers applied, results showed between 1 and 4 bu/ac increase in yield. With a seed primer PLUS a foliar nutrient application with herbicide we got an increase in yield between 2 and 8 bu/ac. When we applied a foliar nutrition with the fungicide as well we got a 11.5 bu/ ac increase in yield. To us, this is proof that a “systems approach” is very valuable and that we can influence our crops from beginning to the end with applied nutrition and that the total package gave the best results. We look forward to this coming season with the knowledge we have now and hope that we can have a positive influence on your farm and crops. Remember, “Quality Service” is our game!

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Food for thought


Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013

Sulphur…. Not just for Canola!



ulphur has traditionally only been included in canola fertility programs. Canola is definitely one of the biggest users, but all crops need sulphur. In the past, sulphur deficiencies were not as common because the soil contained large amounts of organic sulphur. Organic sulphur then becomes plant available, but the supply has dropped significantly after years of under-applying sulphur fertilizer and producing large crops. Sulphur is very mobile in the soil when in the plant usable form (sulphate) and is subject to leaching. However, it is immobile in the plant so a continuous supply of sulphur is necessary. With declining organic sulphur levels, the production of very large crops, the leaching potential and immobility in the plant; it is easy to see why sulphur deficiencies are becoming more and more common. Everyone knows that canola is a very large sulphur user and the current recommendation is to use a 5:1 ratio of nitrogen to sulphur. Applying sulphur to canola is a common practice but the important consideration is applying enough sulphur. For example, a 50 bushel canola crop will require about 175 lbs. of N and therefore, requires 35 lbs. of sulphur. There is a lot of buzz right now about sulphur use in wheat to help increase quality and protein levels. Wheat uses about 0.25 lbs of sulphur/bu. This is not a very large amount (about 12.5 lbs. for a 50 bushel wheat crop), but can make a big difference. Peas also use a fair amount of sulphur: 0.25 lbs./bu. and it helps improve nitrogen fixation. For other crops, the sulphur needs in pounds per bushel are: oats- 0.13, flax- 0.56, barley- 0.16 and lentils-

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0.30. Sulphur’s main roles include: amino acid and protein synthesis, chlorophyll synthesis and oil formation. Sulphur also can help enhance crop yields and quality. Sulphur products available include: ammonium sulphate (AMS) (20-0-0-24), ammonium thiosulfate (liquid) (15-0-0-20), Tiger 90/Tiger 50 products, S15 and sulphur fines. AMS and ammonium thiosulfate are very common and used in blends. Because the sulphur is readily available it is susceptible to leaching. S15 is a 13-33-0-15 granular fertilizer that contains both el-

and contains both elemental and sulphate form sulphur. Because Tiger 90 is purely elemental, it breaks down slowly over a period of about 3 year. One option is applying Tiger 90 once every three years. The product breaks down and becomes available at a rate of about 30% per year. Therefore, the crop gets the sulphur it needs for the year without any excess being lost due to leaching. Another huge benefit with this includes reducing logistic issues such as storage (your field is a great place for storage!) and the fertilizer put down at

emental and sulphate form sulphur. When seed placing it with canola, the sulphur needs for canola are generally not met (depending on SBU) so another sulphur source is required. Sulphur fines have an analysis of 21-0-0-24 and contain the sulphate form of sulphur. The product may be cost effective, but one must be aware of the potential storage and application issues. Lastly, the Tiger 90 and Tiger 50 products are becoming more widely used. Tiger 90 has the analysis of 0-0-0-90 and is purely elemental. Tiger 50 has a 12-0-0-50 analysis

seeding. Tiger 50 is a better option to ammonium sulphate as there is some sulphur available immediately, but then the elemental part provides a season long supply. Therefore, it is very important to consider sulphur for all of your crops. Most crops do not need a lot of sulphur and even those small amounts can make a big difference. There are many product options available that will provide sulphur. So remember to consider the sulphur needs for all your crops this season; it’s not just for your canola!

Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013


Wendland ag agronomy

Chloride – The Forgotten Hero



ver since initial research began in the early 1960’s, chloride has been one of the least understood and most controversial essential nutrients in regards to soil content and plant uptake. While most of our time is spent worrying about our macronutrients, it is easy to have certain factors fall through the cracks, and chloride falls into this category. Hopefully, this article will shed some light on what chloride is, what it can do for a plant and how we can use it more effectively and efficiently in the years to come. What is chloride and why do we care? In both soil and plants, chloride occurs predominantly as a negative charge. This characteristic makes chloride extremely mobile in the soil, especially in higher moisture conditions. Much like nitrogen and sulfur, chloride is susceptible to leaching as well as being highly variable across a field. In Western Canada, the most common form of chloride comes in the form of potassium chloride (KCl), more commonly known as potash fertilizer. Traditionally, attention was only paid to the potash component and many believed there was enough chloride in the soil. However, as we move ever higher in our quest for more bushels, chloride has become the ‘lowest stave in the bucket’ in some cases. What does chloride do? Chloride has many direct and indirect functions within the plant. To start, it plays a major role in the transport of both water and nutrients from the roots to other parts of

the plant. Because of this, chloride can have an affect on cell hydration and turgor, leading to the standability of the plant. It is also an essential factor in 3 enzymes, one of which is required for germination and another of which is responsible for regulating cell growth (i.e.: plant growth and leaf area). Probably the largest effect chloride has on a plant is its ability to regulate stomata function within the leaves. Stomata regulate the movement of water in and out of the plant via transpiration and if this process does not occur properly, your plant does not behave at optimum efficiency, leading to possible yield reductions. Chloride treatments have also been found to increase rate of grain fill and kernel plumpness (bushel weight) as well as the amount of kernels per head. Other research has shown that it can decrease lodging and causes heads to form/ emerge up to a week earlier. Chloride applications have been shown to reduce the severity of 17 different foliar and root diseases on 11 different crops, so it can have a profound affect on plant health. Helpful tips 1. Apply potash fertilizer whenever possible. Not only are you getting the potassium, it is also the best way to apply chloride. Applying 15 lbs/ac of dry 0-060 will help avoid most plant deficiencies. If in-furrow applications are not an option, there are a variety of foliar options available as well. 2. Do soil and tissue tests. Anything less than 60 lbs (10 ppm) of chloride in the soil will likely cause a plant to exhibit signs

of deficiency (wilting, marginal leaf scorching, stunting, leaf spotting). As well, full yield potential in wheat can only be achieved if you have 0.4% chloride in the boot, so tissue test early and be ready to treat the deficiency. Keep in mind that not all soil and tissue tests automatically measure chloride, so be sure to ask for it! 3. Chloride can be very seed toxic, so avoid putting more than 15 lbs/ac dry 0-0-60 in furrow. 4. Remember that you don’t necessarily need a deficiency to see a benefit from a chloride application. Because of chloride’s high variability in the soil and its impact on plant/ water relations, a consistent application every year is better than waiting for a deficiency to appear. With input costs what they are and future’s prices climbing almost daily, it is extremely important to make sure your plant has sufficient levels of all nutrients throughout the growing season, and chloride is no exception. Don’t fail to remember this forgotten nutrient hero in your farm planning as you strive towards higher bushels on your farm.

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Food for thought




ave you ever sprayed a field pre-harvest with either Reglone or glyphosate and it seems like it takes “forever” to desiccate? Or have you ever called an agronomist or chemical rep out to a field because something “just didn’t work?” You probably chalked it up to poor weather conditions, sprayer operator error or the herbicide itself. And when someone asks you about the water you used you think about how many gallons it was applied with or even the type of nozzles you have on your sprayer and if maybe they weren’t the right ones for the job. But what about the QUALITY of water? When we think of water quality we usually assume that if it’s drinkable, it’ll be good for spraying. If we use if for our cattle or the rest of our farm, it’ll be good for spraying. If water comes from an RM or town source, they test it for “stuff” so it’ll be good for spraying. Unfortunately, this is not case most of the time. All water is NOT created equally. This past growing season we conducted multiple water tests around the Battlefords, Paynton and Delmas areas. Some samples were from RM wells, some from farm wells and others even from dugouts. Each sample of water we tested had issues as spray water, but the good news is we can analyze it and have solutions on how to deal with it. Water analysis can tell us a lot about our water but there are 2 very important numbers on the test that tell us about its quality, or lack thereof, for spray applications. The first important number is Total Dissolved Solids, TDS, usually expressed in milligrams per litre (mg/L) or micrograms per millilitre (μg/mL). This is the sum of all ions, cations and anions, in the wa-

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Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013

Do you have good spray water? think again…


water classification

0 – 114


115 – 342

Moderately Hard

343 – 800


> 800

Extremely Hard

ter sample. Glyphosate is the main herbicide that is affected by having a high number of TDS in with it. This is because glyphosate is negatively charged and positively charged dissolved solids like calcium and magnesium will bind with, or tie-up, the glyphosate molecule. This essentially renders the glyphosate inactive which in turn reduces weed control. The TDS number should be under 400 mg/L or 400 μg/mL to be considered optimal for spraying glyphosate. Reglone and 2,4-D amine are also highly sensitive to TDS. Directly related to this is hardness, which is usually used to describe water for domestic uses of water. It is a property of a water’s tendency to produce suds or curdle soap or to produce boiler scale in industrial applications. Above is a table showing the different categories hardness. Hardness is a good indicator of TDS but is not the only value that should be looked at, especially for spray water quality. The second important number to look at on a water analysis is pH. We’ve all heard that pH can affect the performance of glyphosate. But did you know that pH can influence many pesticides and even foliar nutrients? pH is essentially the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of solution. Many chemicals that we use in crop production are susceptible to alkaline hydrolysis once we add them to

water in a spray tank. This means that a certain amount of the chemical decomposes to an inactive form if the water is alkaline (over a pH of 7). Some chemicals are more stable and others more susceptible. Some of the herbicides that concern us for our customers are bromoxynil (Buctril M or Pardner), dicamba, Reglone, glyphosate, Target, Achieve and clethodim (Centurion, Select or Arrow). Insecticides and fungicides are not immune to this either, most notably Lorsban, Sevin and Malathion. So what’s the plan? 1. Have your water source(s) tested! We will send a sample away for you, analyze the results and then come up with a plan for you to implement on your specific farm. 2. If your water needs to be treated we will recommend the correct product. That may be a pH adjuster alone or it might be a dual-approach product that will buffer the pH as well as prevent pesticides from being deactivated. Water conditioning products are inexpensive but can be priceless! When you fill your tank to spray you are adding high performing, valuable pesticides. You should hold your water to the same standards. How good is YOUR spray water?

Volume 2 • Issue 1 – 2013

Wendland ag agronomy

When the Vigor Trigger® effect meets Rooting Power™ you get enhanced crop establishment from stronger, faster-growing plants – above and below the ground •

• • • • •

Cruiser Maxx® Vibrance™ Cereals protects your wheat, barley and oat crops against a broad range of insects such as wireworm, a broad range of diseases and delivers best-in-class Rhizoctonia control The Rooting Power™ of Vibrance™ delivers stronger roots that take full advantage of soil nutrients and can better defend against soil diseases Provides benefits of three systemic fungicides, as well as a systemic insecticide Protects against smuts in cereals, including true loose smut in barley Available on-farm and commercially in a Ready to Apply formulation in a range of container sizes Consistent performance under a wide range of growing conditions

Principles of Seed Treating: 1. Regulate your seed flow – maintaining a consistent grain flow can be one of the biggest challenges treating seed. Using a system to throttle the seed that is repeatable will help improve your application rate. Using a G3 treater will provide a consistent grain flow or clamping a pair of vice grips on the bin so the slide can stop against them will help. 2. Regulate your seed treatment flow – using a pressurized system allows you to match your treatment flow to the grain

flow while maintaining a constant treatment flow from start to finish. 3. Primary Application (when the seed treatment initially contacts the seed) – Using a nozzle based system will provide seed treatment on more seeds at initial contact than a system that uses a hose to apply the treatment to the seed. Less vigorous mixing of the seed is required with a nozzle based system. 4. Secondary Mixing (mixing the seed through an auger) – Running the auger at 1/3 to 1/2 capacity with a steeper angle will provide the seeds an opportunity to tumble more in the auger and improve the coverage of the seed treatment on the seed. Other tips: • Pre-treating – allows the seed to absorb the treatment prior to putting into the seeder. • Adding water – increasing the slurry volume of the seed treatment can really help improve coverage on the seed, especially if using a hose delivery system to the seed. Going 1:1 water is acceptable as long as you remember to increase your application rate accordingly. • Talk to your Wendland Ag Services or Syngenta Canada representative about Syngenta’s Seed Treating Equipment Upgrade Program.

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Food for thought

Volume 2 • Issue 1 – spring 2013

A New method of Applying Micro Nutrients




endland Ag will now be offering a new, cost effective way of applying micronutrients. By impregnating regular granular fertilizer with a liquid micronutrient product growers will get increased value and efficiency with an exceptionally easy to use product. Yara’s YaraVita line of products will be an easy and inexpensive way for growers to help correct their common micronutrient deficiencies. The YaraVita line is sold in over 40 countries worldwide, and has been tested and proven at numerous locations across the United States. All YaraVita products have been certified and label-approved by the CFIA, and are composed of only pharmaceutical or food grade materials to ensure their safety. Only VaraVita products contain high enough nutrient analysis to be suitable for impregnation. Applying the same amount of nutrients with a lower analysis product would create a slurry. Impregnating each fertilizer prill in a blend won’t add extra bulk, and it eliminates the segregation of a micronutrient product during transportation or seeding. This process will also reduce dust levels and make the product easier to handle. Micronutrient impregnation is also more cost effective than applying traditional granular products due in part to the efficiency of adding feeding sites. A few pounds of a granular micronutrient product

spread over an entire acre results in a very sparse pattern. Typically the majority of the crop will not be close enough to any prills to access those extra nutrients, which can result in uneven crop performance. Certain nutrients, such as copper, must be intercepted by a root to be taken up in the crop, so a dense, even distribution is essential. This impregnation process will also allow the micronutrient product to convert to a plant available form much sooner than granular

Saskatoon Blaine Lake Cut Knife Delmas Domremy

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306-249-2262 306-497-2455 306-398-2710 306-895-4831 306-423-6266

products. Both can be used for long-term building programs, but the crop will only have access to a small amount of the micronutrients applied as granular products in the year of application. YaraVita products are fully compatible, so multiple micronutrient deficiencies can be corrected simultaneously. For example, the majority of fields in the Wendland Ag territory have moderate to low levels of both copper and zinc – both of which play very important roles in crop production. Meeting a crop’s micronutrient requirements will provide a range of benefits, including decreased disease pressure, frost protection, increased standability and increased yields and quality. YaraVita impregnation products are an excellent solution to many of the micronutrient deficiencies your soils may have. Contact your Wendland Ag representative to take advantage of these great new products.

Rosthern Waldheim

306-232-4223 306-945-2233


Wendland Ag Spring 2013 Newsletter  

Planning ahead, Highlights from 2012 Trials, Sulphur (not just for Canola), etc

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