Why is this research important for Alberta ag?
Application of fertilizer for crop production following the guiding principles of right source, right rate, right time, and right place is widely regarded as the best way to increase the sustainability and profitability of cropping systems. While most fertilizers in southern Alberta are applied in a solid form, irrigated agriculture offers the opportunity to apply liquid fertilizers mixed in with irrigation water, i.e. "fertigation".
Fertigation, or feeding dissolved nutrients directly into a crop's rootzone with irrigation water, may be a powerful way to increase nutrient use efficiency and the applicability of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) systems for field crops. The effectiveness of fertigation for field crops grown in Alberta remains poorly understood.
This project will perform experiments to identify practical and effective fertigation strategies for Alberta crops.
What benefits can producers expect from this research?
Identifying efficient Subsurface Drip Fertigation (SDF) strategies is a step towards future solid fertilizer savings and combined increases of water and nutrient use efficiency. Since liquid fertilizer is typically more expensive than solid fertilizer, it's important to identify how, when, and where SDF can have the most impact.
How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?
Knowledge will be shared through tours, technology demonstration days, and student training.
Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.