A fertility study on irrigated potatoes and sweet corn in Saskatchewan
Westlund, Donald Duane
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There has been much controversy, in recent years, on the problem of expanding world population and the world's ability to feed this larger population. The expansion of the population is an undisputed fact. Thus, food producers must accept the challenge and attempt to increase production to meet the requirements as they develop. New efficient methods of production must be designed and used. For the present, however, it is probably more important to make the best possible use of existing methods. This use, of existing methods in the plant industries means making use of available varieties, soil conservation methods, irrigation facilities, pest controls, fertilizers and any other practice that will help achieve and maintain the highest possible production. It is quite simple to recommend the use of all the best known methods, but determining the optimum methods for each area is more difficult. Every locality is going to be different due to soil type, topography and climate. Therefore, no single cultural practice is going to be universally good. Tests must be carried out in each individual area. The irrigation water soon to be made available because of the new Gardiner Dam will open up a whole new field of production for Central Saskatchewan. In anticipation of this large scale irrigation, the Department of Horticulture at the University of Saskatchewan has been involved in trials designed to determine the optimum cultural practices for growing irrigated vegetables in this area. Initially, this work involved only irrigation studies on a number of vegetables. The primary objective was to determine the optimum rate and timing for irrigation. In addition, an attempt was made to determine which vegetable crops would be commercially feasible for this area. This portion of the work was carried out and reported by Oliver Green in 1963. The study has since been expanded to include fertility studies. The present trials are designed to determine the optimum fertilizer rates for potatoes and corn under irrigated conditions. The work is being carried out on Asquith fine sandy loam in Central Saskatchewan. This type of soil is being used not only because it is common in the area projected for irrigation, but also because it is a desirable soil texture for vegetable production.