So after a whirlwind two weeks dashing around the US, I finally crossed the border to Canada on Friday evening. This weekend I spent relaxing at my Uncle’s Lakeside cabin in Manitoba. Yes it was tough! Golf, swimming, kayaking, boating and some catching up on sleep.
After a relaxing weekend I was ready for my first Canadian visit. I was supposed to be spending two days with Dr Martin Entz. Unfortunately he was unable to make it but I was well looked after by his team today. Hopefully I will catch up with Dr Entz on Friday.
This morning I was looked after by Bailey and Michelle.
Michelle is doing trials on organic Soyabean varities. Soya beans a becoming more popular up here but there are very few non GMO varities and little info on how they behave this far north.
The flags above are where she has manually removed weeds to measure how well they compete with weeds to give her a control. She is also looking at the early biomass production, seeding rates and yield. Trying to see if higher seeding rates for better weed control gives yield benefit to cover extra seed costs. Bailey is helping out for the summer on the organic oat trials looking at yield, disease and lodging and other factors.
Then after lunch I spent a couple of hours looking at various trials Iris is overlooking.
Iris is looking at inter seeding Camelina and conventional soybeans and looking at the impacts and also soyabeans interseeded with radish below.
She is also looking at strip till soyabeans into rolled Rye and also doing a Rye fertiliser and seed rate trial.
Interestingly all the weeds are in the moved strip.
She is also looking at inter seeding corn with mixtures of peas, radish and rape
She is has trials looking at vetch and peas in the row of corn with Italian Ryegrass in between.
The vetch and peas in the row looked excellent and would compete well with weeds.
Above is 60 inch corn rows with alternating rows of flax, radish and soyabeans.
After spending time with Iris I was looked after by Keith Banford
Keith is standing in a perennial wheat grass trial. They are trying to breed perennial wheat and work out the system. They were looking at mixing the wheat grass with alfalfa and also different clovers
We then went to see a local organic farmer who was experimenting with intercropping.
The first field was mustard and peas with clover. The mustard with go for food and peas too.
The second field is mustard, edible beans and clover.
Both these crops had been weeded by the Garford Robocrop which is an inter row hoe. This had been used twice on these fields plus two previous cultivations. The Garford is a new machine for this farmer and is working on 6.5 inch rows spacing. We also looked at some wheat which had been inter row hoed
This crop also had three types of clovers undersown with it. Unfortunately it seemed to have quite a few wild oats too which seems to be Canada’s biggest grass weed issue.
It was an action packed first day with Martin’s team and thanks to everyone for showing me around and I am looking forward to day two!