Lethbridge, Canada
Lethbridge, Canada

Time filter

Source Type

McKenzie R.H.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | Middleton A.B.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development | Pfiffner P.G.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development | Woods S.A.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Canadian Journal of Plant Science | Year: 2011

High crop productivity is essential for irrigated crops and may be strongly affected by decisions of seeding date and rate. An irrigated field experiment was conducted at two locations in southern Alberta for 4 yr to compare the impact of seeding date and rate on productivity and quality of nine cereal crops and two oilseed crops. Seeding rate was only evaluated on one date in late April or early May, when maximum yields were expected. Delayed seeding reduced crop yields by 0.6 to 1.7% per day after the end of April: flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) ≤CWRS wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), feed triticale (×Triticosecale W.)≤CPS or SWS wheat ≤ triticale or barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) silage ≤ durum (T. turgidum L.), feed or malt barley < canola (Brassica napus L.). Crop quality deteriorated with delayed seeding for some crops, particularly canola, malt barley and SWS wheat, but was unaffected or even slightly improved for other crops. Seeding rate generally had a smaller effect on crop yield or quality than seeding date, but triticale and SWS wheat required high seeding rates to achieve maximum yields. Early seeding and a sufficient seeding rate were required for high crop productivity of irrigated cereal and oilseed crops in southern Alberta.


Olson B.M.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development | McKenzie R.H.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development | Larney F.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting
Canadian Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2010

Land application of livestock manure has caused concern about excess nutrients in soil and the potential risk to water quality. Application of manure based on cropnutrient requirements is considered a beneficial management practice. A field study was conducted to assess the feasibility and impact of crop-based N and P application rates of cattle (Bos taurus) manure and compost for crop productivity and accumulation of extractable soil N and P. The 6-yr (2002-2007), small-plot field study included 10 amendments: control (CONT), annual synthetic fertilizer N (F-N), annual synthetic fertilizer P (F-P), annual synthetic fertilizer N plus P (F-NP), annual N-based manure (M-N), annual P-based manure (M-P), three times the P-based manure once per 3 yr (M-3P), annual N-based compost (C-N), annual P-based compost (C-P), and three times the P-based compost once per 3 yr (C-3P). Amendments were arranged in randomized complete block design with five replicates and applied based on annual soil testing and nutrient recommendations. The test crops were triticale (-Triticosecale rimpaui Wittm.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) silage managed under irrigation. Dry matter yields for CONT and F-P were significantly smaller than for the other treatments. There were generally no significant differences among the six organic and F-NP amendments. Apparent N recovery (ANR) was greatest for F-NP (45%) and F-N (41%), followed by the P-based organic amendments (26-34%), M-N (15%), and smallest for C-N (10%). Apparent P recovery (APR) was greatest for F-NP (30%) and smallest for M-N (6%) and C-N (4%). The APR for the P-based organic amendments ranged from 14 to 22%. Application of the amendments did not result in the accumulation of excess nitrate N in the soil profile. The M-N and C-N amendments applied for 6yr increased extractable P in the 0- to 0.15-m soil layer from 12 mg kg-1 to 121 and 156mg kg -1, respectively. Crop productivity and soil nutrient responses indicated that assumptions made for P and N availability in manure and compost were reasonably accurate. Based on the results, P-based application of manure or compost can achieve optimum crop yield and prevent nutrient build-up in soil. Under the conditions of this study, the amount of land required to accommodate P-based application would be five to seven times more for manure and eight to ten times more for compost compared with N-based application.


Olson B.M.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | McKenzie R.H.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development | Bennett R.,Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Canadian Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2010

The risk of P leaching increases on land that receives manure at rates sufficient to meet crop N requirements, but calcareous subsoils may minimize P loss due to P adsorption. An 8-yr field experiment was conducted to determine the effects of different rates of manure on the accumulation and leaching of soil P in a coarse-textured (CT) soil and a medium-textured (MT) soil under typical irrigation management in southern Alberta. Treatments included a non-manured control and four rates of cattle (Bos taurus) manure (20, 40, 60, and 120 Mg ha-1 yr-1, wet-weight basis). In manured treatments, P addition ranged from about 80 to 450 kg P ha-1 yr -1, while P removal by annual cereal silage crops ranged from 15to 22 kg P ha-1 yr-1. High soil test P (STP) concentrations occurred to a depth of 0.6 m at the CT site and 0.3 m at the MT site. Increase in STP concentration to 0.6 m was equivalent to 43% of net P input, and increase in total soil P was equivalent to 78% of net P input. Non-recovery of net P input suggests that P loss by leaching occurred at these sites and that leaching was more prevalent at the CT site. These calcareous soils have considerable potential to hold surplus P, but may still allow P leaching.


VandenBygaart A.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | McConkey B.G.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Ellert B.H.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | And 6 more authors.
Soil Science Society of America Journal | Year: 2011

The depth of sampling has recently been highlighted as critical to making accurate measurements of changes in SOC stocks. This paper aimed to determine the effects of land management changes (LMC) on soil organic carbon (SOC) by re-sampling long-term agoecosystem experiments (LTAEs) across Canada using identical sampling and laboratory protocols. The impact of sampling depth on the monitoring of LMC-induced differences in SOC stock in LTAEs in Canada, and the implications on statistical power and sampling design, were assessed. In most cases, four cores would be suitable for detecting a significant difference in SOC stock of 5 Mg ha at 95% confidence for LMCs in western Canada. The impact of eliminating fallow on SOC stocks was typically restricted to the surface 15 cm. The impact of perennial forages on the average cumulative SOC was sufficiendy large to be detectable at all sampling depths (to 60 cm). In three of the six LTAEs sampled in western Canada comparing conventional tillage to no-till, there was a significantly greater SOC storage in the O- to 30-depth than the O- to 15-cm depth, suggesting that sampling below 15 cm could be necessary. The same comparisons in eastern Canada suggested that sampling often must exceed the 30-cm depth to account for any changes in SOC due to moldboard plow tillage. Nonetheless, there was litde evidence to suggest that increasing sampling intensity or sampling deeper would improve the ability to detect a difference in SOC stocks for this LMC. © Soil Science Society of America, 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison WI 53711 USA All rights reserved.


McKenzie R.H.,Agriculture Research Division | Middleton A.B.,Agriculture Research Division | Pfiffner P.G.,Agriculture Research Division | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2010

Nitrogen fertilization of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in the drier regions of the Canadian prairies is currently accomplished by banding urea or anhydrous ammonia at seeding or broadcasting urea in early spring. This study was conducted to determine if the efficacy of urea could be improved by using polymer-coated urea (PCU) or treatment with urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT). Two fi eld experiments were conducted for 3 yr on wheat stubble and on fallow at Bow Island and at Lethbridge. Grain yield and protein concentration response of winter wheat was determined for noncoated urea (NCU) and PCU banded in the soil at seeding at seven rates from 30 to 210 kg N ha-1 (Exp. 1) and for four N fertilizer types broadcast on the soil surface in early spring at rates of 30, 60, and 90 kg N ha-1 (Exp. 2): NCU, ammonium nitrate (AN), NBPT-treated urea (NTU), and PCU. When N fertilizer was banded at seeding, grain yield was higher for PCU than NCU, but diff erences were small (<100 kg ha-1, <5%) and likely not due to reduced N losses. Grain protein concentration was unaff ected by fertilizer type. When N fertilizer was broadcast on the soil surface in the spring, grain yield and protein concentration were similar for NCU, AN, and NTU, but reduced for PCU due to excessive delay in N release. The negligible impact of polymer-coating or treatment with NBPT on urea efficacy reflects the low risk of urea N loss in this region. © 2010 by the American Society of Agronomy.


Miller J.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Curtis T.W.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | Chanasyk D.S.,University of Alberta | Willms W.D.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Canadian Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2013

Off-stream watering troughs may reduce surface water pollution by shifting nutrient distribution from natural watering sites along the river to around artificial water troughs some distance from the river. The objective of our study was to evaluate the suitability of nine soil properties for assessing the impacts of cattle activity adjacent to eight watering sites. Nine surface (0-5 cm) soil properties were evaluated along four 100-m transects at the five off-stream water troughs and three river access sites along the Lower Little Bow River in southern Alberta over 4 yr (2007-2010). The properties included P (total P, soil test P or STP), N (total N, NO3-N, NH4-N), total C, total C:total N ratio (TC:TN), chloride (Cl), and soil bulk density. Soil test P was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) enriched at 65% of site-year comparisons, followed by total C (63%), NO3-N (55%), total P and TC:TN (50%). This suggested that these soil properties were relatively good indicators of cattle activity at the majority (>50%) of watering sites. Chloride was a valid indicator only in non-saline areas (100% of four non-saline sites). Total C and TC:TN ratios were not valid indicators in the calcareous soils at all sites because of possible confounding influence of inorganic C. Overall, we recommend Cl as an indicator of cattle activity at watering sites not affected by soil salinity and high natural Cl levels, and STP as the best overall indicator of cattle activity at off-stream watering sites and river access sites. Certain soil properties were also influenced by distance from watering site, stocking rate, precipitation, and age of water trough.


Miller J.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Curtis T.W.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | Chanasyk D.S.,University of Alberta | Willms W.D.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Canadian Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2010

Off-stream watering troughs may reduce surface water pollution by keeping nutrients away from natural water bodies, but may increase nutrient contaminant of groundwater. The objective of this study was to determine to what extent off-stream watering troughs active for 2 to 7 yr caused enrichment and leaching of soil test P (STP) and KCl-extractable NO3-N. The study was conducted in the Lower Little Bow (LLB) River watershed of southern Alberta, Canada. Soil samples were obtained at three recently installed off-stream watering troughs, four active cattle watering sites adjacent to the LLB River, and at two sites along a fenced reach of the river with no cattle access. At each location, samples were obtained along four 100-m transects. Surface (0-5 cm) soil immediately adjacent to the LLB River was not enriched in STP or NO3-N, which was attributed to flushing of nutrients during periods of high flow. Surface soil at distances ≤5 m from the three water troughs was approximately three times higher in STP than surface soil obtained at distances ≥10 m and was seven times higher in NO3-N. Subsurface soil layers adjacent (3m distance) to the three water troughs were not enriched in STP compared with background levels (100 m distance). The subsurface soil adjacent (3m) to the longest active watering trough was enriched in NO3-N to the 60 cm depth compared with background levels (100 m). Greater nutrient enrichment at the off-stream watering troughs than at the cattle watering sites adjacent to the river suggested that this beneficial management practice (BMP) was effective in shifting nutrient distribution away from the river.


Beres B.L.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Harker K.N.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Clayton G.W.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | And 2 more authors.
Weed Technology | Year: 2010

The inclusion of winter cereals in spring-annual rotations in the northern Great Plains may reduce weed populations and herbicide requirements. A broad range of spring and winter cereals were compared for ability to suppress weeds and maximize grain yield at Lacombe (2002 to 2005) and Lethbridge (2003 to 2005), Alberta, Canada. High seeding rates (≥400 seeds/m2) were used in all years to maximize crop competitive ability. Spring cereals achieved high crop-plant densities (>250 plants/m2) at most sites, but winter cereals had lower plant densities due to winterkill, particularly at Lethbridge in 2004. All winter cereals and spring barley were highly effective at reducing weed biomass at Lacombe for the first 3 yr of the study. Weed suppression was less consistently affected by winter cereals in the last year at Lacombe and at Lethbridge, primarily due to poor winter survival. Grain yields were highest for spring triticale and least for spring wheat at Lacombe, with winter cereals intermediate. At Lethbridge, winter cereals had higher grain yields in 2003 whereas spring cereals had higher yields in 2004 and 2005. Winter cereals were generally more effective at suppressing weed growth than spring cereals if a good crop stand was established, but overlap in weed-competitive ability among cultivars was considerable. This information will be used to enhance the sustainable production of winter and spring cereals in traditional and nontraditional agro-ecological zones. © 2010 Weed Science Society of America.


Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | Janzen H.H.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Ellert B.H.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | McKenzie R.H.,Agriculture and Rural Development
Soil Science Society of America Journal | Year: 2011

Agroecosystems provide a range of benefits that are strongly influenced by cropping practice. Crop productivity and C, N, and greenhouse gas (GHG) balances were evaluated in an 18-yr cropping system study on an Aridic Haplustoll in the northern Great Plains. Application of synthetic fertilizers consistently increased crop yield and soil organic carbon (SOC), with greatest impact in perennial grass and continuous wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotations and least impact in rotations with fallow or annual legumes. Based on N balance, N inputs other than fertilizer were 16 to 30 kg N ha -1 yr -1 in rotations without legumes and 62 kg N ha -1 yr -1 in a legume-wheat (LW) rotation, while losses of synthetic fertilizer N were 32% in annual crop rotations and 3% in perennial grass. Due to large gains in SOC, perennial grass reduced atmospheric GHG by 20 to 29 Mg CO 2 equivalent (eq.) ha -1 during the 18 yr of this study. For annual crop rotations, seed yield ranged from 1.2 to 2.5 Mg ha -1 yr -1, protein yield from 0.20 to 0.41 Mg ha -1 yr -1, and GHG intensity from 0 to 0.5 Mg CO 2 eq. Mg -1 seed. Fertilized continuous wheat had the highest crop productivity and lowest net GHG intensity, while an annual LW rotation had the highest protein productivity and among the lowest GHG intensities (0.2 Mg CO 2 eq. Mg -1 seed). Further evaluation at broader temporal and spatial scales is necessary to account for future changes in SOC and diff erences in use of crop products. © Soil Science Society of America.


Miller J.J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Bremer E.,Symbio Ag Consulting | Beasley B.W.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Drury C.F.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | And 2 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2012

Application of feedlot manure to cropland may impact the size distribution and nutrient content of soil aggregates. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of fresh or composted feedlot manure containing straw or wood-chip bedding on dry-sieved aggregate size distribution and nutrient contents. Surface (0-15 cm) soil samples were obtained from a long-term field experiment where treatments were fresh (FM) or composted manure (CM) containing straw or woodchips applied annually at 0 (control) or 77 Mg ha-1 yr-1 for 11 yr. Air-dried soil samples were separated using a rotary sieve into six aggregate size fractions ranging from <47 mm to > 12.7 mm. Total C, total N, C:N ratio, soil mineralizable N (41-d incubation), total P, soil test P, and P saturation index were determined on the six aggregate fractions. The amendments significantly (P≤0.05) increased the proportion of smaller (<0.47 mm) aggregates and decreased the proportion of the larger (>12.7 mm) aggregates relative to the unamended control. The geometric mean diameter (GMD) was also lower and wind erodible fraction (WEF) was greater for the amended treatments than unamended control. We attributed this manure effect to increased organic matter content in the soil making the aggregates more friable and susceptible to breakdown by tillage. Carbon, N, and P concentrations were not shifted to smaller aggregate sizes where root growth and nutrient uptake are generally greater. The exception was mineralizable N, which tended to be greater in the finer < 0.47 mm fraction. Mineralizable soil N in all aggregate sizes≥0.47 mm was reduced for wood-chip compared with straw bedding, and resulted in net N immobilization in aggregate sizes ≥ 1.2 mm. Phosphorus sorption was lower in soil amended with wood-chips compared with straw bedding for aggregates ≥ 0.47 mm. Long-term manure application may shift soil aggregates from larger to finer fractions because of greater friability and suggests that these soils should be managed to avoid the greater risk of wind erosion.

Loading Symbio Ag Consulting collaborators
Loading Symbio Ag Consulting collaborators