Better Together

Representing Alberta Wheat & Barley Farmers.
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Plot2Farm on-farm trials for 2022 season

The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions recognize the value of on-farm research. In 2019, both commissions put aside funds to launch Plot2Farm, a farmer-focused, on-farm research program. In 2020, Plot2Farm conducted two trials. In 2021, the program grew to eight trials between wheat and barley. For 2022, 12 separate trials will be sown across Alberta.

The goal of Plot2Farm is to give more research power to Alberta wheat and barley farmers. The Plot2Farm program provides farmers with science-based trial protocols. Producers can select the protocol that helps them answer a specific farm management question and then implement the trial on their operation. These protocols help answer farm-specific agronomic questions. Each protocol is replicated, randomized, and designed with farm scale size in mind.

The protocols test topics including plant growth regulators, enhanced efficiency fertilizers, row spacing, nitrogen rates, and more. Plot2Farm assists farmers in taking agronomic management to the next level. For a complete list of this year’s trials and locations, see Table 1.

Table 1: Plot2Farm trial protocols, locations and designated crops for the 2022 season.

Rundown of each trial

Increasing seeding rates in barley

This trial will explore the effects of increasing seeding rates on barley yield and quality. Barley will be seeded at rates of 22, 27.5 and 33 plants per square foot. Seeding rates are calculated using thousand kernel weight, germination, and expected mortality.

Plant growth regulator application (Moddus OR Manipulator)

This trial will explore the impact of a plant growth regulator application on wheat or barley yield, quality and lodging. Barley trials will receive an application of Moddus. Wheat trials will receive and application of Manipulator. Product rates applied on wheat and barley trials will be label recommended single application rates.

Increasing nitrogen rates

This trial will explore the effects of increasing nitrogen rates on barley yield and quality. Treatments include:

i) Nitrogen application rate as per soil test recommendations

ii) Nitrogen application rate as per soil test recommendations + 20lbs of additional nitrogen

iii) Nitrogen application rate as per soil test recommendations + 40lbs of additional nitrogen

All nitrogen will be applied at seeding. All nitrogen will be applied in the same form.

Nitrogen fixing bacteria

This trial will explore the effects of nitrogen fixing bacteria foliar applied products on wheat yield and quality. Products will be applied at the single application full rate as per label recommendations.

Row spacing: 7.5” vs 15”

This trial will explore the effects of row spacing on wheat yield and quality. Treatments will be implemented using one seeder. 15” rows are applied with a single pass. 7.5” rows are applied with two passes of the same seeder. The second pass of the 7.5” treatment will sow the seeds between the rows of the first pass of the 7.5” treatment. RTK technology is used to ensure accuracy of row spacing.

Split in-crop nitrogen application

This trial will explore the effects of split nitrogen applications on wheat yield and quality. Treatment splits will vary depending on the wheat class and farm needs. There are two farms implementing this trial.

The first farm is applying the treatments on soft white wheat (Innisfail, AB). Therefore, the split will include 50 per cent nitrogen at seeding and the remaining 50 per cent at the beginning of stem elongation to target yield. This split will be compared to a check treatment of all nitrogen applied at seeding.

The second trial is applying the treatments on hard red spring (Three Hills, AB). Therefore, the split will include 57 per cent of the nitrogen applied at seeding, 21 per cent of the nitrogen applied at the beginning of stem elongations, and 21 per cent of nitrogen applied at the end of boot stage. These treatments target yield and protein. This split will be compared to a check treatment of all nitrogen applied at seeding.

To review results of trials from previous seasons, visit Plot2Farm.com. If you have any questions regarding the program, please reach out to the program lead, Jeremy Boychyn at jboychyn@albertawheatbarley.com. Producers interested in being part of the plot2farm program in 2023 can apply in at Plot2Farm.com. Applications will be received near the end of 2022. Keep an eye out for further information.