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Soils and Crops Workshop

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The annual Soils and Crops Workshop is a two day event offering updates on current research being conducted in the areas of soils, crops and economics by researchers, faculty and graduate students from across western Canada.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 2449
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    Comparative Analysis of Cadmium Uptake and Distribution in Flax
    (2021-03-16) House, Megan Alexandra; Young, Lester; Liu, Xia; Liber, Karsten; Diederichsen, Axel; Booker, Helen
    Humans consume low quantities of cadmium (Cd), a non-nutritive and potentially toxic heavy metal, primarily via the dietary intake of grains. As part of a larger study designed to assist in the breeding of low Cd-accumulating flax varieties, we have conducted an experiment to determine physiological and developmental differences in Cd content in four flax cultivars (AC Emerson, Flanders, CDC Bethune, and AC McDuff). Our objective was to identify varietal differences in the uptake and distribution of Cd in various tissues among flax cultivars grown in naturally Cd-containing soil in a controlled environment. Cadmium concentration was dependent on the flax variety, developmental stage, and tissue type, as well as their interaction and our results suggest varietal differences in the mechanisms that determine Cd content in seeds. The results of this project, combined with those from genomics and field experiments, will support and accelerate the breeding of adapted flax varieties with low levels of Cd in the seed. Link to Video Presentation:
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    A Brief History of Flax Breeding in Canada
    (2021-03-16) House, Megan Alexandra; Jackle, Ken
    From the Mediterranean to the Canadian prairies, flax has been, and continues to be, an important crop. Divergent selection has resulted in fibre flax and oilseed flax (linseed), each with their own important uses. In Canada, it is linseed that is of economic importance. Canadian varieties are grown for the oil that is produced in their seeds, which has uses in the industrial, human food, and animal food sectors. Though there were once a number of flax breeding programs across the country, there now remains only one. The flax breeding program at the University of Saskatchewan, having survived a tumultuous chapter after the identification of genetically modified flax threatened the Canadian flax industry, remains strong. The program continues to breed flax with improvement to yields, oil profile, disease resistance, and other traits of agronomic importance. More recently, additional emphasis has been placed improving traits of interest to end-users and addressing a variety of environmental crop stresses. Join us for a look at the struggles, successes, and recent advances of flax breeding in Canada. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Evaluation of a New Fall Rye Cultivar 'Bono' in Single and Double Cropping Systems
    (2021-03-16) Darambazar, Enkhjargal; Larson, Kathy A.; Damiran, Daalkhaijav; Lardner, Bart H.A.
    Hybrid fall rye (FR, Secale cereale L.) is now being considered as a novel cropping option in western Canada due to its high yield potential, fast growing, and earlier maturing and harvest. An earlier harvest allows producers to consider the option of seeding another forage on the same land base in the same crop year (i.e., double cropping). Growing fall rye may also address forage demand during drought conditions due to its fibrous root system and efficient use of N along with spring moisture. The objective of this study was to evaluate performance of a new hybrid fall rye cultivar ‘Bono’ compared to a conventional fall rye, modern open pollinated cultivar ‘Hazlet’ and winter triticale in single and double cropping systems with spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in central Saskatchewan. The study included 5 replicated (n = 4) treatments: (i) Bono fall rye; (ii) Hazlet fall rye; and (iii) Pika winter triticale as single crops, and two double cropping treatments composed of spring barley harvested for greenfeed followed by the seeding of two fall rye cultivars: (iv) barley/BonoFR; and (v) barley/HazletFR. The study was conducted in the Dark Brown soil zone at the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence located near Clavet, SK in 2019 and 2020. Pre-seeding herbicide was applied for all treatment plots. No fertilizer was added except for double-cropping plots that were fertilized with 23 kg actual N/ha in fall 2019. First crop - barley was seeded at 136.6 kg/ha at 2.5 cm depth and harvested for greenfeed at soft dough stage in late summer, followed by second crop - fall rye seeded at 85 kg/ha and 3.75 cm depth in the same year. The fall rye was harvested as greenfeed between the flag leaf to heading emergence the following summer. Winter triticale was seeded at 151.2 kg/ha and 3.75 cm depth. Soil was analyzed for available nitrate–N (NO3–N), sulfate–S (SO4–S), phosphate–P, (HPO4/H2PO4–P), and available potassium (K). Forage dry matter yield (DMY) and quality were determined including crude protein (CP), crude protein yield (CPY) and total digestible nutrient yields (TDNY) per hectare. Metabolizable energy (ME), and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) were also estimated to evaluate the two cropping systems. Soil available N, P, K, and S averaged 62.2, 26, 724, and 1502 kg/ha, respectively. In the double cropping system, first crop-spring barley produced similar (P > 0.05) DMY (avg. 5955 kg/ha) and quality (CP = 9.1%; neutral detergent fiber (NDF = 47.4%, TDN = 67.2%, ME = 2.5 Mcal/kg) over the two production years. Bono fall rye did not differ (P > 0.05) in DMY (avg. 2339.8 kg/ha) or quality from Hazlet fall rye in both single and double cropping systems. However, compared to winter triticale, both fall rye cultivars had lower CP (13.4 vs. 18.6%; P = 0.003), ruminally degradable protein (RDP, 10.2 vs. 13.7%; P = 0.004), relative feed value (RFV, 91.8 vs. 122.3; P < 0.001), K (2.24 vs. 3.2%; P < 0.001), Mn (24.9 vs. 41.7 mg/kg; P = 0.001), Zn (16.4 vs. 22.7 mg/kg; P = 0.003) and higher NDF (60.3 vs. 49.1%; P < 0.001). Both fall rye varieties and triticale had similar (P > 0.05) DMY and estimated nutrient yield per hectare including CPY, TDNY, N, P, and K, but differed (P = 0.009) for higher NUE level. Expectedly, double cropping increased total DMY (barley DMY + fall rye DMY) by 74.2% (8401 vs. 2166 kg/ha), CPY by 61.5% (832.8 vs. 320.5 kg/ha), TDNY by 75.9% (5503 vs. 1325 kg/ha), P by 77.1% (19.5 vs. 4.5 kg/ha), K by 41.7% (94.8 vs. 55.3 kg/ha), and N uptake (133.3 vs. 51.3 kg/ha), with 34.7% higher NUE (64.5 vs. 42.1) as opposed to single crops. Preliminary results suggest that the new cultivar, Bono fall rye shows good potential to be used in a double cropping system providing adequate forage production and nutrition for beef cattle, while its lower nutritive value compared to winter triticale is compensated by the higher efficiency of nitrogen use, protein and total digestible nutrients accumulated per hectare. Spring seeded barley would provide suitable forage for greenfeed during summer, and Bono fall rye would be a viable alternative to other winter cereals in a single cropping system.
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    Nutrient Management Practices for the Optimization of Organic Milling Oat (Avena sativa)
    (2021-03-16) Peters, Racquelle; Johnson, Eric; Shirtliffe, Steve
    Milling oats are a valuable organic crop in Western Canada. Saskatchewan alone accounts for almost half of Canada’s total organic oat acreage. This two-year cropping sequence study investigates the impact of previous-year stubble (PS), animal manure (AM) type, and manure application timing on subsequent organic oat yields and quality. Two trials were established from 2019 - 2020 in a lattice design at the University of Saskatchewan’s Kernen Research Farm and Goodale Research Farm, outside of Saskatoon, SK. PS crops consisted of fababean, fababean green manure plough down (PD), fallow, and wheat. Composted cattle manure (CM), fresh laying hen manure (HM), and no manure (control) were applied either prior to PS crop (Yr0) or prior to oat crop (Yr1). PS crop type was observed to have a significant effect on oat yields. Compared to yields following wheat stubble (2243-3941 kg ha-1), fallow increased yields by 26% and 50% at Kernen and Goodale, respectively. Oat yields following fababean PD stubble were comparable to fallow at both locations. A PS by AM interaction was present only at the Kernen site. Fababean PD “ HM resulted in yields comparable to fallow applied with either AM. Application timing of manures did not influence oat yields. The preliminary results of this study suggests that PS crop type strongly influences oat yields, more so than manure and its application timing. Furthermore, growing a fababean crop for green manure can be an effective alternative to fallow for the improvement of subsequent organic oat crops.
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    Genome-Wide Association Study for Seed Quality Traits in Chickpea
    (2021-03-16) Orsak, Alanna; Deokar, A.; Tar'an, B.
    Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) are an important source of nutrition for the world’s population. Global demand for high quality chickpeas is growing [1]. Canadian chickpea production is expected to increase as a result. Breeding efforts for Canadian varieties are increasingly targeting seed quality. Seed protein and oil content are important, quantitatively inherited traits [2]. To improve nutrition and functional quality of chickpeas an understanding of the genetic basis and underlying traits is crucial. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been employed in breeding populations to aid marker assisted selection (MAS) and genomic selection (GS) applications [3]. A panel of diverse chickpea accessions including materials developed at the Canadian breeding program were grown during the summers of 2016-18. The population was grown at two locations each year, with three replicates per location. The panel was phenotyped for total crude protein and oil content. Over 60K single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) derived from whole genome sequences were used to analyze genetic diversity and population structure of the accessions. After data quality screening 170 out of 184 accessions remained, consisting of 45 Desis and 125 Kabulis. Roughly 30 600 SNPs remained after filtering for quality and a 10% minor allele frequency (MAF). Population structure analysis revealed several distinct groups primarily divided by market class. Linkage disequilibrium decay was determined to be between 390 and 380 kilobases. There was a moderate negative correlation shared between the traits (r=-0.57) as well as a genotype by environment interaction. It was determined that year was a greater source of phenotypic variation than growing location. QTLs and candidate genes associated with total protein and oil content were identified through GWAS, with potential markers for both traits on the q arm of chromosome 5.
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    Impact of Land Rolling on Wind-Eroded Sediment in Soybean Production
    (2021-03-16) Zarrinabadi, Ehsan; Lobb, David
    Wind-driven soil erosion is a major environmental issue that can lead to decreased soil productivity by eroding nutrient-rich fine soil particles away from agricultural lands. Many Manitoba soybean fields are routinely rolled shortly after planting. There are concerns that the practice of land rolling in soybean production may increase the potential for wind erosion through breakdown of soil aggregates into smaller unstable aggregates and reducing the roughness of the soil surface. Therefore, an experiment was conducted as an on-farm trial in eight different locations in in the Red River Valley of southern Manitoba during 2018 and 2019. The experimental trials were established with two treatments (rolled and non-rolled) arranged using a randomized complete block design. Sediment traps, specially designed and fabricated for this study, were used to collect wind-eroded sediment moving over the soil surface along the length of each treatment. The results of this study did not show that land rolling increased wind erosion risk by reducing soil surface roughness. With respect to the experimental evidence on amount of sediment collected by wind erosion samplers, the results show that there is a significant difference among samplers with collection opening at 5cm and 20cm, which indicates that most of the particles transported at 5 cm height. Detailed particle size distribution showed, the wind-eroded particles collected by the sediment traps with collection openings at 20 cm were slightly finer than the traps with openings at 5cm.
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    Comparing Constant and Variable Rate Applications of Solid Cattle Manure on Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Dark Brown Chernozems
    (2021-03-16) Hangs, Ryan; Schoenau, Jeff; Farrell, Rich
    Although field application of solid cattle manure (SCM) is an alternative, low-cost nitrogen (N) source to conventional synthetic fertilizers, gaseous losses of manure-N, occurring via volatilization and denitrification, are well documented. However, the effect of variable rate application of SCM on gaseous N emissions at a landscape-scale has received less attention. The objective of this study was to compare the nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) fluxes from watershed basins within the same field, with and without the addition of fresh feedlot SCM applied at either constant blanket or variable landscape-adjusted rates. Gas samples were collected in 2019 and 2020 with gas sampling locations further classified according to their catchment area size. The non-manured watershed basins had low cumulative N2O and CO2 emissions, and were strong CH4 sinks compared to manured basins. Additionally, basins receiving the Variable Rate manure application had lower N2O emissions than those receiving the Constant Rate manure application. The low elevation, larger catchment area landscape positions contributed proportionally more to cumulative N2O and CO2 emissions, along with reduced CH4 consumption, compared to the smaller catchment areas higher in the landscape, due to greater soil moisture and organic matter content within those depressional soils.
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    Rebuilding the Fertility and Productivity of Eroded Knoll Soils
    (2021-03-16) Hangs, Ryan; Schoenau, Jeff
    Historical erosion (water, wind, and tillage) of upper-slope knolls within hummocky fields have typically resulted in the translocation of native fertile topsoil to lower-slope positions, leaving the soils remaining at these higher landscape positions with low organic matter, poor fertility, along with reduced water infiltration and holding capacity. A three-year rotational field study was established to evaluate the productivity of spring wheat, field pea, and canola growing on two eroded knoll locations with and without nine different soil fertility treatments: side-banded mono-ammonium phosphate; side-banded zinc sulfate; side-banded copper sulfate; side-banded ZnSO4 + CuSO4; side banded MAP + ZnSO4 + CuSO4; composted solid cattle manure (SCM) broadcast and incorporated; broadcast and incorporated SCM followed by side-banded ZnSO4 + CuSO4; side-banded Zn-containing char; and historically eroded topsoil mechanically transplanted back onto the knoll from an adjacent depressional area. Based on the first growing season results, it appears that even under record-breaking dry growing season conditions, restoring eroded topsoil back to the eroded knoll landscape position is the most effective method of increasing spring wheat crop productivity. Positive responses of wheat and pea to MAP and Zn respectively, as well as trend towards benefit from SCM, indicate potential benefits from these amendments as well, albeit smaller than replacing the original topsoil lost by erosion.
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    Evaluation of Alfalfa and Grass Species in Binary and Quaternary Mixtures for Salinity Control in the Dark Brown Soil Zone of Saskatchewan
    (2021-03-16) Darambazar, Enkhjargal; Biligetu, Bill; Schoenau, Jeff; Damiran, Daalkhaijav; Lardner, Bart H.A.
    Objective of this study was to evaluate forage yield, quality, botanical composition, persistence, and weed density of salt tolerant forage mixtures in saline soil. An area representing a gradient of soil salinity near the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence in Clavet, SK was seeded on June 27, 2019 using the 4 forage mixtures: a saline tolerant cultivar of alfalfa (cv. Halo Medicago sativa L., HaALF) in binary mixtures with creeping meadow foxtail (cv. Garrison Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir.; CRF) or smooth bromegrass (cv. Carlton Bromus inermis Leyss.; SBG) or slender wheatgrass (cv. Revenue Agropyron trachycaulum Malte; SWG) and in quaternary mixture with the three grasses (CRF, SBG, and SWG) in a Randomized Complete Block Design with 4 replications (n=4). Soil samples at 0-15, 15-30, and 30-60-cm depths were taken in the spring 2019 for soil nutrients (N, P, K, and S), particulate organic carbon (POC), moisture, pH, and electrical conductivity (EC) measurements. Stand establ ishment, botanical composition, weeds including foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum L.), forage yield, and quality were determined in the fall 2020. Soils were loamy (sand: 47.9 ± 5.72%; silt: 45.5 ± 5.61%; and clay: 6.6 ± 2.09%) with EC (6.6 ± 1.04 dS/m), POC (1.2 ± 0.73% DM), and pH (7.8 ± 0.13). The magnitude of EC at 30-60 cm depth was lower (P < 0.05) (5.9 dS/m) than either at 0-15 cm (7.2 dS/m) and 15-30 cm (6.9 dS/m) and the highest POC (P < 0.05) was accumulated at 0-15 cm (2.12%) and the lowest at 30-60 cm (0.52%). Overall, the soil at the trial site was moderately saline (EC 4 - 8 dS/m and pH < 8.5). The spring soil fertility as available nitrate-N, phosphate-P, and potassium at 0-30-cm depth were 5.4, 19.6, and 741.6 kg/ha, respectively. Binary mixtures did not differ in stand establishment (P > 0.05; avg. 78.8%) and were ~15% greater than quaternary mixture (68.8%). Likewise, no difference was observed (P > 0.05) among treatments on DMY. However, based o n DMY, treatments can be ranked as HaALF “ SWG (3210 kg/ha) < HaALF “ SBG (3543 kg/ha) < HaALF “ CRF “ SBG “ SWG (3599 kg/ha) < HaALF “ CRF (4148 kg/ha) with latter produced 15 to 29% greater relative to the other mixtures. Weeds including foxtail barley occupied 16.3-33.1% of total DMY. Revenue SWG in mixture with HaALF had less weed infestation, while Carlton SBG mixed with HaALF was more susceptible to weeds. The preliminary results suggested that Halo alfalfa – Garrison creeping meadow foxtail mixture could be a viable alternative for increasing forage production and controlling salinity on moderate saline soil in the Dark Brown soil zone of Saskatchewan.
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    Low-Lignin Alfalfa Evaluated in the Black Soil Zone
    (2021-03-16) Damiran, D.; Biligetu, B.; Pearce, L.; Larson, K.; Lardner, B.H.A.
    A small-plot study was conducted at Lanigan (lat 51°51´N, long 105°02´W) SK, in the Black soil zone, to compare low-lignin Hi-Gest®360 alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) to a conventional alfalfa (AC Grazeland, check cultivar). Each cultivar was seeded in August 2017 as both a monoculture and binary mixture (binary) with AC Success hybrid bromegrass (HB). Plants were sampled in 2019 at 3 different maturity stages of alfalfa (1 = 10% bloom; 2 = 40% bloom or commercial harvest stage; and 3 = 100% bloom). Forage was harvested 27 June, and 8 and 29 July, 2019 for stage 1, stage 2 (11 d after stage 1), and stage 3 (21 d after stage 2), respectively. Treatments were replicated 4 times, a total of 48 plots with plot size of 6.2 — 1.2 m. Forage — maturity stage interaction was not observed (P > 0.05) for all measured parameters. AC Grazeland and Hi-Gest exhibited similar (P > 0.05) DMY (2978 ± 405 kg/ha). Likewise, AC Grazeland+HB and Hi-Gest+HB did not vary (P = 0.62; 9120 ± 647 kg /ha) in DMY. There was little difference between Hi-Gest and AC Grazeland (P > 0.05) in nutrient profile. As alfalfa maturity advanced, DMY increased (P < 0.05; 1940, 2970, 4023 kg/ha for stages 1, 2, and 3, respectively). Hi-Gest at stage 3 tended to be greater (P = 0.09; by 35.4%) in DMY than AC Grazeland at stage 2 (4235 kg/ha vs. 3127 kg/ha). In binary system, forages at stage 1 had lower (P < 0.05) DMY (6575 kg/ha) than those at stage 2 (9858 kg/ha) and stage 3 (10650 kg/ha), whereas, forages in stage 2 and stage 3 did not differ (P = 0.12) in DMY. However, in monoculture, forages at maturity stage 3 had lower crude protein (CP; 20.0 vs. 23.1%) and total digestible nutrients (TDN; 60.8 vs. 65.5%), but greater acid detergent fiber (ADF; 36.1 vs. 30.0%) than those at maturity stage 1. The acid detergent lignin (ADL) concentrations of Hi-Gest were 98.8%, 86.7%, and 99.2% (avg. 94.9%) of AC Grazeland alfalfa, for stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3, respectively. No differences (P > 0.05) were observed between AC Grazeland+HB and Hi-Gest+HB for nutrient profiles. The ADL concentration of Hi-Gest + HB was 106.3%, 93.7%, and 90.9% of (avg. 96.7%) AC Grazeland+HB, for the stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3, respectively. Hi-Gest alfalfa had greater (P < 0.05) effective degradable dry matter (EDDM; 7.2% more; 520 vs. 485 g/kg DM), effective degradable CP (EDCP; 14.3% more; 630 vs. 551 g/kg CP), and effective degradable neutral detergent fiber (EDNDF; 6.2% more; 265 vs. 249 g/kg NDF) relative to AC Grazeland alfalfa. In binary system, Hi-Gest+HB had numerically (P > 0.05) greater EDCP (8.2% more; 370 vs. 342 g/kg CP), but had similar EDDM (388.4 g/kg DM) and EDNDF (250 g/ kg NDF) relative to AC Grazeland+HB. In both mono- and binary systems, as the maturity advanced, EDDM, EDCP, and EDNDF declined (P < 0.05). The study further revealed that each percentage unit increase in ADL concentration, the main factor hindering cell wall digestion, decreased EDNDF by 2.1 percentage units (EDNDF, g/kg NDF = 252.54 “ 20.792 — ADL, % DM, r2 = 0.41, n = 48, P < 0.01). The stand establishment costs varied by treatment and were $458.70/ha ($185.60/ac), $233.44/ha ($94.47/ac), $351.50/ha ($142.25/ac), and $464.20/ha ($198.10/ac) for Hi-Gest, Grazeland, Grazeland+HB, and Hi-Gest+HB, respectively. The market value ranked from highest to lowest was AC Grazeland+HB > Hi-Gest+HB > Hi-Gest > AC Grazeland. Compared to conventional alfalfa (AC Grazeland) that was harvested at the commercial harvest stage (stage 2; 40% bloom), Hi-Gest alfalfa harvested at stage 3 (100% bloom) had $169.23/ha and $143.57/ha greater market value in mono- and binary system, respectively. Preliminary results suggest that Hi-Gest alfalfa (in both monoculture and binary systems) did not differ in DMY and nutrient profiles, but was greater in rumen degradation potential relative to AC Grazeland, suggesting Hi-Gest 360 alfalfa is a viable alternative legume in both monoculture and binary systems for the Black soil zone of Saskatchewan.
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    Demonstration of Soybean Varieties and Seeding Date for Observation in North-Central Saskatchewan
    (2021-03-16) Galbraith, Zoe; Howat, Brooke; Lokken, Robin
    Producers in north-central Saskatchewan could benefit from the addition of soybeans to their crop rotations. Soybean production would help lengthen crop rotations, provide opportunities for control of grassy weeds, and reduce fertilizer inputs and disease levels. Recent field trials have suggested that soybeans could successfully be grown in the north-central region of the province. Due to local climatic conditions, soybeans often experience yield losses due to spring or fall frosts. Yield losses due to fall frosts can be reduced by earlier seeding of soybeans, though this increases the risk of spring frosts. Tillage can help warm the soil in the spring by blackening it, which could reduce the risk of cold injury to seedlings. Finally, with the development of new shorter-season soybean varieties, the risk of major yield losses is reduced. This trial aimed to demonstrate soybean varieties for producers in the north-central region, examine the effects of seeding date on yield, and explore the potential benefits of warming the soil by tillage.
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    Use of Landsat 8 Image and Meteorological Data to Map Soil Moisture in the Red River Valley
    (2021-03-16) Acharya, Umesh; Daigh, Aaron L.M.; Oduor, Peter G.
    Soil moisture is an important variable in hydrology and climate studies and has been a vital factor for various processes such as water infiltration, runoff, evaporation, dryness. The use of remote sensing technology has achieved a varying degree of success in mapping soil properties for frequent temporal and greater area coverage. Soil moisture estimation using satellite image needs information on dynamic nature of actual field circumstances and micrometeorological variability in real time. The objective of this study is to (a) predict field soil moisture with Optical Trapezoidal Model (OPTRAM) using Landsat 8 images (b) use cumulative rainfall (CR), standardized precipitation index (SPI), clay content and OPTRAM in Random Forest Model to estimate field soil moisture. The use of vegetative indices to estimate soil moisture was not effective because they are affected by the growth stages and crop type. We used google earth engine to process Landsat 8 image and predict soil moisture using OPTRAM model. ArcGIS was used to make moisture maps using pixel by pixel method and R software for modeling random forest regression. The soil moisture estimated using OPTRAM model showed low correlation with field soil moisture. Soil factors, rainfall patterns might have affected the correlation. Random Forest Model was used to predict soil moisture using OPTRAM soil moisture, clay percent, four-day CR, SPI as predictor variables. This model provides promising result of r2=0.67 and RMSE= 0.053. This study proposed model that includes soil properties, meteorological information, satellite image to predict soil moisture in the Red River Valley. Link to Video Presentation:
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    The Chemotypes 3ADON, 15ADON, NIV, and NX-2 of Fusarium graminearum Vary in Aggressiveness on Wheat
    (2021-03-16) Singh, Gursahib; Kutcher, Hadley R.; Wang, Lipu
    The aggressiveness of Fusarium graminearum chemotypes was assessed in a greenhouse experiment on spring wheat genotypes that varied in resistance to Fusarium head blight (FHB). Fifteen isolates (five 3ADON, five 15ADON, three NIV, and two NX-2) of F. graminearum isolated from Saskatchewan wheat fields were evaluated using point inoculation (Type II resistance assay). Evaluation was on three wheat genotypes assessed as resistant, moderately resistant, and susceptible to FHB and near-isogenic lines (NILs) in the CDC Go (moderately susceptible) background, carrying Fhb quantitative trait locus (QTL) in four combinations: Fhb1, Fhb2, Fhb5, and Fhb1+Fhb2+Fhb5. All four F. graminearum chemotypes were pathogenic on wheat and varied in aggressiveness. Disease severity (FHB) of 3ADON, 15ADON, NIV, and NX-2 isolates differed, with 3ADON (29.7 ± 3.6) and 15ADON (22.4 ± 2.9) isolates more aggressive than NIV (16.7 ± 2.8) , and NX-2 (16.2 ± 3.1) isolates. Significant differences were observed for mycotoxin accumulation among chemotypes, which was highest for 3ADON (14.1 ± 2.26 ppm). There was no interaction between chemotype and wheat line for disease severity or mycotoxin accumulation. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Optimizing the Productivity and Resiliency of Cropping Systems in the Major Ecozones on the Canadian Prairies
    (2021-03-16) Liu, Kui; Asgedom, H.; Bainard, L.D.; Entz, M.; Hubbard, M.; Iheshiulo, E.; Khakbazan, M.; Kubota, H.; Larney, F.; Lemke, R.; Lupwayi, N.; Peng, G.; Ramirez, G.H.; Semach, G.; Strydhorst, S.; St. Luce, M.; Tidemann, B.; Gan, Y.
    Agriculture faces grand challenges of meeting growing food demands and increasing profitability while reducing environmental impacts. A systems approach is required to design and manage cropping systems to meet the goal of agricultural sustainability under climate change. A 4-year rotation study was established in 2018 at seven sites across the Canadian Prairies, including Beaverlodge, Lacombe, and Lethbridge, AB; Melfort, Scott, and Swift Current, SK; and Carman MB. The objective of this project is to develop resilient cropping systems for different ecozones on the Canadian Prairies. This study tested six cropping systems consisting of 1) conventional cropping system (Control), 2) pulse- or oilseed-intensified cropping system (POS), 3) diversified cropping system (DS), 4) market-driven cropping system (MS), 5) high risk and high reward cropping system (HRHRS), and 6) green-manure incorporated soil-health focused cropping system (GMS). Each cropping system varies slightly among experimental sites (ecozones) to mimic local farming practices. Cropping system indicators such as yield, resource use efficiency, soil health, profitability, environmental impact, resiliency, and sustainability will be fully assessed at the end of rotations. The preliminary results from the first 2 years indicated that there was no single cropping system suitable for all study ecozones although POS had an above-average yield and stability among the six cropping systems. We suggest that the optimal cropping system will maximize yield in the high-yielding ecozones and stabilize yields in the low-yielding ecozones. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Previous Crop Sequences Effect on Fusarium Head Blight of Cereals in the Prairies
    (2021-03-16) Oviedo-Ludena, Alejandra; Kutcher, H.R.; Coles, K.; Gretzinger, M.; Peng, G.; Healey, V.; May, W.E.; Davis, R.; Mohr, R.; McLaren, D.; Henriquez, M.A.; Wang, X.
    Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a disease of concern across the Canadian prairies; low crop diversity within rotations increases disease risk. Approximately 60% of the area seeded to annual crops in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan consists of wheat and canola. The present study focusses on the effect of previous crop sequences on the severity of FHB of cereals across the prairies. From 2018 to 2020, six locations were seeded with a core set of five crops including wheat, barley, canola, pea, and maize; at some sites, a sixth crop was included such as lentil. Each year, yield, crop quality and FHB severity were recorded; also, Fusarium spp. were isolated and identified from cereal kernels. Several Fusarium spp. caused FHB among cereal crops and were associated with host crops. The experiment consisted of a factorial arrangement in a split block design. The diversity criteria were established by using groups A, B, and C. Where A is the crop sequences that included cereals, pulses and oilseeds in the rotation. Treatment B, consisted of cereals and pulses, or cereals and oilseeds; while C, consisted only of cereals. This year data from Saskatoon shows that the diversity criteria played an important role in the proportion of the various Fusarium spp.. Fusarium spp. shows a significant difference between treatments and the frequency of F. graminearum isolated was similar in sequences with only cereals and cereal with pulses/ oilseeds, but both differed from a crop sequence that include three-different crops. The lack of crop diversity across western Canada is a risk factor for future disease outbreaks. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Genotypic Variability in Microbially-Mediated Plant Soil Feedback of Alfalfa in Perennial Agroecosystems
    (2021-03-16) Awodele, Stephen; Bennett, Jonathon
    Soil conditioning in agroecosystem occurs when weed and crop species influence soil micro-organisms, resulting in plant-soil feedback (PSF). Positive PSFs result from beneficial plant-microbe relationships that facilitate plant growth, whereas negative PSFs arise from the accumulation of pathogenic soil microbes and play important role in soil sickness. This problem is amplified, especially in the perennial system, due to the accumulation of species-specific soil pathogens which also limit the growth of conspecific seedlings. Genotypic variation in host resistance to pathogens and enhanced mutualisms have been shown to influence PSF, and manipulation of these interactions is an emerging strategy to overcome soil sickness in agricultural systems, yet the effect of conspecific feedback on seeded perennial pastures is poorly understood. To examine genotypic variability in microbially-mediated PSF, four varieties of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) were grown in soils previously conditioned by alfalfa in the field in either monoculture or mixtures and of varying stand ages (1 to 6 years old). To explain genotype by environment variability in PSF for alfalfa, we also examined other biotic and abiotic components. Mixtures reduced the impact of negative PSF by approximately 3 folds relative to monoculture, whereas temporal variability had no effect on intraspecific PSF. Alfalfa genotype strongly affects microbially-mediated PSF. Alfalfa varieties experienced negative PSF at a varying degree in monoculture, while only one variety had a positive PSF in mixture. Our data suggest that PSF caused a genotype-dependent alteration to fiber quality in monoculture and that soil texture may be an important predictor of PSF in mixtures. Collectively, these results demonstrate the role that soil microbiomes through aboveground-belowground linkages play in soil health and the importance of genotypic variability in the manipulation of soil microbiomes for sustainable agriculture. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Intraspecific and Interspecific Interference: Wild Oat and Kochia
    (2021-03-16) Sharpe, Shaun
    Herbicide resistance within annual cropping systems on the Canadian Prairies has been well documented. Wild oat (Avena fatua) is a widespread and established agricultural threat with multiple resistant biotypes identified. Kochia (Kochia scoparia) is exhibiting an aggressive herbicide resistance survival strategy with biotypes which resist multiple post-emergence, in-crop, systemic modes of action. Competition dynamics between weeds are relatively understudied but may be important in predicting weed community composition shifts as a consequence of herbicide resistance evolution. The objective was to study interspecific and intraspecific interference for wild oat and kochia within the context of kochia tumbleweed mediated dispersal through wild oat infestations. Greenhouse trials were initiated in Saskatoon, SK in 2019. The experimental design was a two-factor factorial arranged as a randomized complete block. Treatment combinations involved either 0, 1, or 2 plants per pot for either species with a maximum of four plants per pot. After 81 days of competition with wild oat, kochia biomass was reduced by approximately 70%. Wild oat was largely impacted by intraspecific interference with approximately 50% biomass reduction. Should kochia's range expand due to escaping herbicidal control, it is not likely to displace wild oat though factors of allelopathy should be further considered. Additional study is required to understand how crop competition may impact competition between these weeds. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Plant-soil Feedbacks in Rangelands and Pastures
    (2021-03-16) Bennett, Jonathon; Awodele, Stephen; Kuper-Psenicnik, Aisa; Lundell, Seth
    Every plant interacts with a diverse array of soil microbes, with some of these interactions being positive (e.g. mycorrhizas or rhizobacteria) and others negative (e.g. pathogens). Over a plant's lifespan, these organisms accumulate and can have strong effects on plant performance (i.e., plant-soil feedbacks), with the net effect dependent on the relative strengths of the positive and negative interactions. Recent work in my group explores whether manipulating the plant composition of pastures and rangelands may allow us to enhance the positive aspects of these plant-soil feedbacks. In a 20-year-old mixture diversity trial in Minnesota, we found that seeding diverse mixtures can create soils that increase plant growth by increasing beneficial microbes and reducing root damage from pathogens and nematodes. In a separate experiment using soils from native rangelands, however, plant diversity effects on plant-soil feedbacks differed among species. When testing the response of different forages to soils collected from alfalfa monocultures and mixtures, plant growth responses were highly dependent on the forage species and alfalfa variety seeded. Other experiments in our group suggest that this variation among alfalfa varieties in their responses to different soils may be partially attributable to differences in their interactions with mycorrhizal fungi, as these interactions also differ among alfalfa varieties with strong effects on plant growth. Combined, these results highlight the effects of mixture diversity on soil microbial communities. The strong variation among plant species and varieties in their responses to soil microbes also suggests that the effects of soil microbes on forage growth will depend on species and variety selection. Although the picture may currently be incomplete, by better understanding these differences we can improve pasture management through more effective mixture design and choosing the right seed for pasture rejuvenation. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Recovering from Hail
    (2021-03-16) Coles, Ken; Dhillon, Gurbir; Gretzinger, Mike; Baarda, Lewis; Lange, Ralph; Gill, Kabal; Yaremko, Vance; Harding, Michael
    Hailstorms can be responsible for significant economic loss to the agricultural sector in Alberta. Foliar applications of certain fungicides and nutrient blends have been advocated to promote recovery and yield of hail-damaged crops. Proper understanding of different crop- and hail-related factors is required for an accurate assessment of hail damage to crops, and for evaluations of hail-recovery product claims. This study was undertaken at three locations in Alberta during three growing seasons (2016-18) to determine the effect(s) of two levels of simulated hail severity at three different crop developmental stages including early vegetative, middle vegetative and reproductive stages. Plant growth, yield and grain quality parameters of wheat, field pea and dry bean crops were measured. Simulated hail damage led to reductions in crop height, biomass, canopy cover, grain yield and kernel weight of all three crops. Timing of simulated hail was a critical factor influencing the extent of crop damage with early damage to vegetative stages having less effect on yield compared to damage at later reproductive stages. This trend was especially evident in wheat which did not show significant reduction in yield from the damage at early tillering stages but had significant yield loss with damage at flowering. Foliar applications of fungicides and nutrient blends did not significantly improve crop recovery, grain yield or kernel weight for any of the crops in this study, and thus, their use for the recovery of hail-affected wheat, field pea and dry bean was not supported by the results of this study. Link to Video Presentation:
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    Interaction of Trifludimoxazin + Saflufenacil and Pyroxasulfone for Control of False Cleavers (Galium spurium) and Wild Oat (Avena fatua)
    (2021-03-16) Aldridge, Kathryn; Johnson, Eric; Shirtliffe, Steve
    The development of herbicide resistant (HR) weeds has led to a need for examining alternative herbicide mechanisms of action for weed control. The objectives of this study were to examine the herbicide interaction of trifludimoxazin + saflufenacil and pyroxasulfone on residual weed control in wheat, and to determine the type of herbicide interaction present: additive, synergistic, or no effect. This study was conducted at four different site locations during the 2020 growing season. Wild oat and false cleavers were cross-seeded in 2 m strips across the experimental area in a split-block design. Treatments comprising of two factors (herbicide group and rate) were applied perpendicular to the weed strips in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replicates. The treatments for this study consisted of four different rates (1, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5X) of BAS85100H (2:1 pre-mix of saflufenacil and trifludimoxazin (18, 27, 36, 45 g ai h-1) and pyroxasulfone applied alone and as a tank-mix (60, 90, 120, 150 g ai ha-1). Additional treatments included an untreated check and commercial checks of two rates of Heat Complete® (saflufenacil (18, 36 g ai h-1) and pyroxasulfone (60, 120 g ai h-1)). Crop phytotoxicity and herbicide efficacy ratings were taken 7-14, 21-28, and 36-40 days after emergence (DAE). Both herbicide group and rate were shown to be significant at p = 0.05 for each weed species. Flint’s adaptations to Colby’s equation was used to determine the relationship present between the herbicide groups. Group 15 or 14+15 displayed the highest level of wild oat control, with 70% suppression being the highest efficacy observed. Using Flint’s analysis, it could be determined that at higher rates a synergistic relationship may be present between Group 14 and 15 herbicides. The Group 14+15 treatments displayed the highest level of false cleavers control and performed significantly better than that of Group 14 and 15 alone. Flint’s analysis showed that there is an additive relationship present between the Group 14 and 15 herbicides. A comparison of the actual versus expected weed control showed that the weed control obtained for the combination treatments was almost identical to that of the expected for an additive relationship. To further examine the herbicide relationships present, the herbicide application rates in future field studies could be extended and growth chamber experiments could be conducted to gain a more precise dose response. Link to Video Presentation: