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No Such Thing as a Free Lunch When it Comes to Crop Nutrition

When I worked as a plant pathologist for Alberta Agriculture in the 1970s, I was surprised to find only 10 per cent of Prairie farmers have ever had their soil tested for crop nutrients.

How could they grow a cereal or canola crop without knowing what plant nutrients — nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), potassium (K) or sulphur (S) — were present in the soil and in what available amounts? Even fewer farmers had a concept of soil organic matter content and pH levels. In those days, the provincial average yield for wheat was around 22 to 25 bushels an acre, Argentine canola was in the low 20s and I remember Polish canola at 16 bushels an acre on average.

Posted in: Agriculture

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