Water Drives Everything

"Water in the Ground... is like Money in the Bank!"

Rainfed agriculture = water limited system

Yield potential is at least partially impacted by the amount and timing of water available to a crop during the growing season

     Soil Moisture + Precipitation


Drier year meant the crop relied on stored moisture to build yield in many parts of the prairies.
Resulted in less fall moisture reserves.

Fall of 2019 is much more promising than 2018. The crop in 2019 also relied on stored moisture,
but fall rains recharged reserves before freeze-up.


Our SCE trade area has lots of soil moisture going into seeding for 2020 and has high yield potential
if we received some timely rains through the season.


      ... Trust the Data...
        CRUSH the Agronomy 

Elston Denzil Solberg - Crop Intelligence Team

This map shows the yield potential for canola across the prairies based on average yearly precipitation.
The driest part of our province still receives enough water (on average) to reach a 70 bu goal – if we ‘Crush the Agronomy'

Applied P Deficit

53% of sites removed more phosphorus than was applied at seeding

 25% were neutral (+/- 3lbs/ac)

21% were in a build scenario

The trend to ‘mine’ our soils of P continues…





Water Use Efficiency and Applied P

  • 4/5 of the highest WUE sites had >50lbs/ac P
  • Stronger correlation might be evident if we knew soil test levels and manure history of all fields.
  • P is critical for the development of healthy roots and energy transfer in the plant.







Water Use Efficiency and Applied K

  • K application was positively correlated with WUE
  • 70% of the sites had no planned K application
  • K is absorbed by plants in larger amounts than any other mineral (after N) and helps the plant tolerate stress from drought and disease.







What is happening to Nitrogen?

IF saturated conditions exist, the following could occur:

  • Denitrification (Loss of N visa atmosphere)
    Rate of denitrification depends on temperature, OM, presence of nitrate and saturated conditions (~20lbs. per week)
    Clay - Clay Loam soils are more prone to denitrification, because they usually stay saturated for longer periods of time.
  • Leaching - Gravity pulls water down
    Loam - Sandy soils have bigger pore spaces, resulting in the downward flow of water; N losses to leaching in Sask is <10%
    Mobile Nutrients (N,S,CI,B) move with water.
    Things to Think About 
  • This is not the year to pull back on fertility (if possible)
    ▪     We continue to run P/K Deficits
    ▪     P/K are relatively immobile – consider it an investment into your land
    ▪    Potential to move some N application to in-season
    ▪     Risk management
    ▪       Where is your N?
    ▪       What is it doing?
    ▪       When is it needed?

Andrea De Roo

Crop Intelligence Agronomist  (639) 906-7066











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