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Outlook Crop Walks: Crops emerging and seeding near completion

Crop Production News 2018 - Issue 2

By Kaeley Kindrachuk AT, Crop Extension Specialist, Outlook; and Joel Peru P.Ag, Irrigation Agrologist, Outlook

As seeding is progressing toward completion in the Outlook area, Irrigation Crop Diversification Corporation (ICDC) staff are busy planting the last of the small plot trials. The third crop walk occurred on May 30 and focused on some of the early observations in the 2018 ICDC research and demonstration program.

During this crop walk, we revisited the winter cereal trials, which have made some modest progress since the last crop walk on May 16. The winter wheat appears to have suffered more from the lack of snowfall and frigid temperatures in December. Both crops show signs of stress, but it is clear that fall rye has an advantage in terms of winter hardiness and vigor. Both variety trials will continue despite the winter losses, and varieties will be evaluated against each to determine which fair better in harsh conditions.

Winter wheat trial showing severe damage
The winter wheat variety trial continuing to
show severe damage on May 30.
Fall rye trial at booting stage
The fall rye variety trial on May 30.  The crop was
in the booting stage at the time of this photo.

The bulk of the ICDC program was either just seeded or beginning to emerge; so content was limited for this crop walk. However, we did stop by the Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre’s (CSIDC’s) horseradish plot, which is currently in its third year. The plants in the picture are from root stalk that was planted in 2017. Flea beetles were present in this plot, as well as some minor damage associated with them. Although the damage will not prove to be economical, it does show that horseradish is a susceptible crop to this pest when there are no other hosts nearby. This demonstration has shown that horseradish is a crop that grows well in Saskatchewan and can produce marketable-sized roots. Some challenges with the crop occur at harvest, when a heavily modified potato digger is required to pull the roots out of the ground. Before this crop can be economically viable for producers, a sustainable market and processors must be established. Work is currently underway to address this.

Horseradish project
The horseradish ADF project being conducted
by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.
ICDC’s horticulture demonstration program is in full swing once again, and most of the trials were seeded by the time of the crop walk on May 30. This week we stopped at two large Agricultural Demonstration of Practices and Technologies (ADOPT) projects comparing different methods of irrigation on four different crops. This ADOPT project will compare drip irrigation to centre pivot irrigation on vegetable crops including cucumbers, green beans, broccoli and carrots. Drip irrigation offers more uniform germination, less weed growth between rows and less disease, and it efficiently provides water near crop roots. In comparison, overhead irrigation is easier to set up, is more maintenance-free and generally enables easier access to the soil for cultivation. 

Crop walks will continue to run bi-weekly on Wednesday mornings for an hour until harvest. They will be live on Twitter, and anyone can join in by watching and using #cropwalk18. If you see the hashtag, feel free to post a picture of where you are and what you are seeing in your area. Research and demonstration trials will be highlighted, as well as crop conditions, insect and disease updates, and anything else of interest to producers and agronomists. 

For more information, follow Saskatchewan Agriculture on Twitter @SK_Agriculture or ICDC on Twitter @ICDC_SK.

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