Outcomes from this research project aim to test and develop high yielding and high quality forage varieties that will have a positive impact on feed efficiency and animal performance, save costs, and strengthen the competitiveness and profitability of the local dairy and beef cattle industries.
Why is this research important for Albert ag?
Access to a plethora of micro-nutrients, plant growth hormones, mycorrhizae, pesticides and biostimulants have left crop producers overwhelmed with anecdotal claims of higher yielding crops and healthier soils.
The use of biostimulants and alternative products has grown tremendously in the past couple of decades. Biostimulants increase crop production by reducing the diversion of assimilates to non-productive metabolism. Evidence that biostimulants may enhance macro nutrient uptake has been reported previously and have been ascribed to an effect on sink activity or stimulation of nitrogen metabolism.
A range of biostimulants are available in Western Canada but many producers are sceptical about the application of those products on their farms. Many companies claim that their products are scientifically tested. However, one of the challenges producers face is not having regional and unbiased data regarding the benefits of products in Western Canada. Therefore, it is very important to study their effects on major crops and to share that information with producers.
What benefits can producers expect from this research?
The proposed project aims to validate a selection of 4 full-package systems against conventional systems to determine feasibility. Over three years, each of these 4 systems will be applied to peas, canola, and wheat in Lethbridge, Forestburg, and Fahler.
The primary beneficiaries of this research project are grain producers in Alberta. Profit margins for grain farmers are tight and this project intends to determine whether additional costs associated with bio-stimulants provide a yield response and or added soil health or crop resiliency.
How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?
Lethbridge College will create and host a project page on the Lethbridge College Mueller Applied Research Irrigation Science sub-site on the main College domain. Project updates will be shared on this site; however, project deliverables will not be hosted on the LC site. Instead, project deliverables will be hosted on the Farming Smarter site and disseminated via their extension activities.