We’re preparing for another year at Richardson Farms. We have spent the winter season learning and planning for this year’s trials. Construction is also underway at Bennett Farm, and the new Richardson Pioneer Divisional Office is expected to be completed this fall. Here are some updates and our plans for 2018.
Kelburn Farm – Brian
This year, I will be working with my new Kinze precision planter on many trials. This new planter will demonstrate the importance of precision seeding through the process of singulation. Along with that, there will be about 200 large demonstration strip trials featuring canola, soybean, corn, wheat and oats. I’ll seed and monitor over 1,000 small plot trials looking at CWRS and CNHR wheat varieties, oats, barley, canola, flax, soybeans and corn.
I’ll also be working with many tours at the farm this year, including educational tours with Agriculture in the Classroom, employee CropWatch™ agronomy tours and Richardson Pioneer supplier and customer events.
Bennett Farm – Orland
Construction is ahead of schedule at Bennett Farm, as we work to complete the buildings on the site. Construction of the building, which will be 20,700 square feet and will include an office and training space, is expected to be completed by the end of May except for some minor exterior work.
On the farm, I’ll be planting my third crop since the farm was established in 2016. Since 2017 was the driest growing season in Regina since 1887, I have some concerns about subsoil moisture, which was depleted in 2017. With that in mind, I’ll still run a similar program as last year with a focus on soybean agronomy, seed treatments, fungicides (including some predictive tools), biologicals and specialty fertilizers.
I also have farm tours planned this year with Richardson Pioneer employees, Agriculture in the Classroom and grower tours for our customers.
Our Top 12 Themes and Trials for 2018
Both farms plan on conducting similar trials to compare the same varieties and products in different growing regions and conditions. Here are the top trials we’re focusing on this year:
Both farms will seed different variety demos, which include new straight cut products and pre-harvest desiccation.
Both Orland and Brian will work with spring wheat as well as winter wheat and fall rye. They will be testing different varieties, fungicide and specialty fertilizers, to monitor yield, protein and disease pressure.
Orland will be expanding the number of Xtend soybean varieties compared to last year and testing a herbicide matrix to showcase pre-seed and post-emergent herbicides. Brian will be testing 16 Xtend soybean varieties from five different suppliers.
Both farms will be continuing with different oat variety trials and disease and fungicide trials with three fertility options. Brian and Orland will be measuring and assessing yield and quality.
Both farms will be conducting demonstrations including 70-day corn, corn planted using a planter compared to an air drill, populations and fertility. Brian will also be testing his precision planter.
6. Digital Farming Products
Both farms will test products including Richardson Pioneer’s CropMatrix™, Climate FieldView, SoilOptix® and moisture sensors, tracking water availability to one metre.
Bennett and Kelburn Farm will test a number of biological products including from Monsanto BioAg, BASF, Premiere Tech and Valagro.
8. Specialty Fertilizers
Brian and Orland will test products including MESZ, Aspire, YaraVita products and ESN.
9. Variety Demos for our Seed Sponsors
Both farms will work with product trials from key cereal seed marketers, which include CANTERRA Seeds, FP Genetics and SeCan.
10. Warburton Wheat Variety Trials
Brian and Orland will test wheat varieties for Warburtons, the U.K.-based bakery that will pick its next contract wheat for western Canadian grower contracts.
11. Disease Trials
Bennett and Kelburn Farm will showcase new fungicides that tackle blackleg and sclerotinia, along with other economically significant pathogens in wheat, oats, durum and pulse crops.
12. Innovation Expo
New for this year at both farms will be an Innovation Expo, which will feature specialty fertilizers, biologicals, Xtend soybeans, early maturing corn and seed treatments. The Innovation Expo sites will create a focal point for learning about many of the new innovations. The site will feature a tent that will house information on our state-of-the-art agronomy platform CropMatrix™, precision farming, crop intelligence zone spraying and SoilOptix®.
Stay tuned this fall to see the results of these many trials, and keep watching the blog throughout the summer for updates on how the crops are performing at Bennett and Kelburn Farm.