Research Project

Advanced Agronomic Practices in Wheat, Barley and Pea to Maximize Yield and Harvestability

AWC contribution: $300,000


This project will use systems thinking to identify synergies between advanced agronomic practices to maximize the profitability of Alberta growers. Using a systems approach, approximately 50 different management systems will be tested in each wheat & feed barley to maximize yields; and 15 management systems in field pea to improve harvestability. The study proposes to increase yields by 25% (up to 54 bu/acre for wheat & up to 75.5 bu/acre for barley) while maintaining pea in the rotation.

Note: this study is an expansion of the 2013 AWC funded study “Stacking Agronomic Practices to Achieve Maximum Wheat Yield (Wheat 150)


  1. Using a systems approach, to determine synergistic benefits of stacking multiple agronomic practices: PGRs; supplemental UAN; Agrotain; and/or foliar fungicides to increase yields and economic returns of wheat and feed barley
  2. To compare small plot results from objective 1 with “Wheat 150” and “Barley 180” field scale trials to develop statistical tools to allow producers to effectively analyze field research
  3. Determine if wheat or feed barley cultivars respond differently to the intensive agronomic practices listed in objective 1
  4. Using a systems approach, to determine which agronomic practices (PGRs, inter-row seeding) improve field pea harvestability
  5. To determine the benefits of various fungicide modes of action and application timings for use on feed barley

Benefit to producers:

This study will determine the best combination of agronomic practices for producers that ensure maximum crop productivity & profitability. In 2012, Alberta farmers harvested 7.4 million tonnes of spring wheat. The 10 yr average spring wheat yield is 42.8 bu/ac. Stacking agronomic best management practices could lead to a 25% improvement in yields (increased to 54 bu/ac). Assuming that 50% of the acres are managed with these recommendations & acres remained static, there would be a 925,000 tonne increase in Alberta spring wheat production. Based on a #1 CPS price of $146/tonne ($3.97/bu), the increased yield would be valued at $135 Million/yr in Alberta.


Sheri Strydhorst is an Agronomic Research Scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, based out of Barrhead. Sheri joined Alberta Agriculture in January 2013 and is conducting agronomic research on cereal crops and plant growth regulators. Prior to joining ARD, she was the executive director of the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission. Sheri completed her PhD in 2008 (Thesis: Rotational benefits of field pea, faba bean and lupin) and MSc in 2003 (Thesis: Tannin free faba bean production in north central Alberta) at the University of Alberta. Sheri, her husband –Shane, and daughter Sarina, have a grain farm in the Neerlandia area.