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I'm a fairly new farmer, I started 7 years ago with a half section in east central sask. I took over land from a low input style guy (as his land was cheaper than average) and each year I've Been doin soil tests and have seen gradual residual fert increases, same as yield increases.

My goal here is to keep my yields on the rise as they are now flattening out so I'm here asking the professionals. My first year farming I've went from using an old cultivator with a bg airtank applying 70lbs of fertilizer (32 actual n) for cereals and hiring out my canola seeding as the cultivator didn't seem to work well with canola. First year yields were horrible wheat didn't hit 20 and canola went 17. Then on year 2 switched Over to using the cultivator to preband n and s with before seeding then hiring in a custom guy with a seedmaster to seed all crops. 1st year hiring in the seedmaster wheat went 23 and canola with 24. (Getting it custom done got expensive fast and could only apply 200lbs of fert product) (each year of doing this yield went up 2 -4 bpa as I'm guessing residual fert was there after a year or 2 of this style.

After year 5 I have now ended up with my own equipment. An old versatile tractor and a 8810 drill with single shoot openers and midrow nh3. In doing this change to nh3 I overcame the problem of only being able to apply 80n 30p 0 10 as I have switch to s10 / s15 dry fert at 130 lbs of product per acre and being able to apply 160 n 40 p 0 20 s. In doing this change and applying higher rates of fertilizer I almost got a 10 bushel an acre increase my 1st year and as seen thru my soil tests I'm seeing more residual fert. My average yield last fall was 35 canola and 45 wheat with 14.5 % protein. I'm not proud to say but I run a wheat / canola rotation as all my neighbors do also.
I do a light harrow in the spring, followed by a glyphosate burnoff before canola, a inferno duo / glyphosate burnoff before wheat. Then seed. Do 2 incrops of liberty with rotating group ones mixed in (centurion / assure 2) in wheat I've had good luck with tundra as fields are clean usually do a preharvest dessicate and run older nh rotary combines but do good at spreading the straw and chaff. My question to everyone is, how do I keep going up from here? My neighbors claim mid 40s for canola and 60s for wheat. There average fert blend is 100n 35p 0 20s??? What I'm I doing wrong?? I'm ok with a break even stand point with my current input program with a one day ill get a bumper crop wish as I work off farm and don't need the farm to generate income but it would be nice to upgrade equipment and to get some tips from the pros to help get better!! And more $$ thanks everyone in Advance!!
 

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My neighbors claim mid 40s for canola and 60s for wheat.
The neighbours might be full of it.
Land quality varies greatly in ec sask it all depends where you are how much rain etc.
Unless this is sand I'm going to bet it isn't short on potash.
The wheat protein says your fertilizer is adequate.
But you need to remember those big bushel canola crops are fertilizer hungry and need Rain
something 2 or 3 inches of water doesn't give.
 

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Stop listening or believing neighbours about much. Sometimes picking the right variety’s is just as important as fertility. And land can vary greatly from one side of the road to other outside of (RR valley, Regina Plains and Hwy 2 Alberta).
You need to look at COP and ROI on farm as much as worrying about high yields.
 

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Stop listening or believing neighbours about much. Sometimes picking the right variety’s is just as important as fertility. And land can vary greatly from one side of the road to other outside of (RR valley, Regina Plains and Hwy 2 Alberta).
You need to look at COP and ROA on farm as much as worrying about high yields.
Soo what is COP & roa?
I've been a invigor canola grower and liked 130/252/233 and trying 345pc this year. Had dekalb trials using 7444 and 76-55. 76-55 seems to be the strongest rr I've came across. Thinking to cut costs I might move to a lower fertilizer input program and put money in my pocket. I could trim 25k on my fert over 1000 acres. But what would it cost me in yield is the thing..
 

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Soil moisture is usually the limiting factor for yield. If the land was farmed 50/50 (crop/fallow) for many years with little to no fertilizer your fertility will be low. The soil structure will be poor too. Most of the land I farm was 50/50 for 75 years with little to no fertilizer. Now its continuously cropped with an adequate fertility program. I haven’t soil tested for years. 20 years ago it was deficient in everything. No need to check to find out that that’s still the case. The best way to fix poor dirt is to seed it to perennial forage and let it heal itself. The born again virgin land that I farm is as good as the neighbors whom have been farming well all along... poor land is cheap for a reason. That’s my experience.
 

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As your post mentions increasing yield AND building soil(profil) I would look at how to do both together.
1. you can't put on anhydrous and build soil at the same time as anhydrous burns up organic matter. look at ammonium sulfate, and liquid 28 being the least harmful to soil then ammonium nitrate and urea
2. Only soil test problem areas to give you an idea what the major issues are. Often the problem spots are just an "exaggeration" of the normal areas and sometime it helps also to do one or two samples on the best yielding spots
3. You need to address micros, for sure boron and zinc but the soil test will tell
4. You might be able to under seed the wheat or try it in oats that gives you a cover crop, some cheap nitrogen and soil structure, you could work that in with a light disc late fall and balance the C:N ratio to better digest the straw. This will give you also extra nutrients. Also try peas with the canola, there is good information available out there and not too dificult to make it work.
5. Don't forget the easiest money to make is the money you don't spend, focus on Return per Acre instead of yield (which is just bragging rights) a sharp pencil is not the same as being cheap.
6. As you have small acres maybe your able to spread nitrogen out over two application by using liquid 28 and use a water soluble humate with the nitrogen to keep it in the soil.
Good luck
 

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Nh3 burning up organic matter is horse **** to start.

As to your yield last year in general wasn’t conducive to a big canola crop depending on just where you are. A bit to dry at the wrong time and a blast of heat at the wrong time really cut some bushels.

So it makes it hard to look at a single year and say X was the reason.

If this is some really low Phos land 35lbs might not be getting it done. And it’s no picnic building Phos from a real low level. It’s practically an exponential amount you have to put down to do it.

You can take research into your own hands if you have a grain cart with a scale on it. Do your own fertility/variety trials and look for the sweet spot for yield/return.
 

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Nh3 burning up organic matter is horse **** to start.
Thank you. Took the words right out of my fingertips.

If we're talking about a summerfallow rotation by the previous owner then it could take many (10+) years to get the level of productivity you are seeking. Nitrogen efficiency in the year of application can be as low as 35%. That means up to 65% of the nitrogen uptake has to come from organic matter decay. A summerfallow rotation burns up organic matter. Nitrogen is the gas pedal. Nitrogen makes bushels. Obviously you have to have the other nutrients but nitrogen is what makes it all happen.

You're on the right track - mid row banding is the way to go for high N rates at seeding. As some one else already pointed out 14+ protein wheat means the crop was swimming in available N while it was filling. I'd echo the advice to ignore the neighbours. An elevator agent told me years ago "Its amazing how many 40 bushel crops in the fall won't fill a 10 bushel quota in the spring" If you want to estimate the nitrogen release potential of your soil split your sample(s). Send one half in immediately and put the other half in a sealed baggie. Throw the baggie in the corner of the office and send it in 3 or 4 weeks later. The cations (P & K) shouldn't change but the nitrogen should. The difference between the two samples is a measure of how much N your soil can release.
 

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Good for you on the progress you have made so far!
Like joe six pack said P could still be low. What is your Phosphorus PPM reading on your soil tests?
If you start on a mined out field, that can take a lot of time and dedication to build back up. And it sounds like you aren't currently applying much more than removal rates with the yields you are now getting.
Personally I also agree, the NH3 is fine.
Unlike Dumbfarmer, I don't know the soil composition of every acre in western Canada, so I can't comment on that.
 

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you can't put on anhydrous and build soil at the same time as anhydrous burns up organic matter.
I hear that nugget of B.S all the time, from guys who have never handled the product! What burns up organic matter is the removal of straw from the field or burning stubble or deep tillage.

I think R3cruit3r, you have been doing well and we all have had to learn as we go. Since farming is not your main line, have you ever thought of forages or some kind of perennial crop.? Or try fall rye following your canola to mix up the rotation. You have the opportunity to try some fun options on a smaller scale. Maybe even try peas. If this year is on the dry side that might be a better chance at making a profit. Enjoy your farm!
 

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Thank you. Took the words right out of my fingertips.

If we're talking about a summerfallow rotation by the previous owner then it could take many (10+) years to get the level of productivity you are seeking. Nitrogen efficiency in the year of application can be as low as 35%. That means up to 65% of the nitrogen uptake has to come from organic matter decay. A summerfallow rotation burns up organic matter. Nitrogen is the gas pedal. Nitrogen makes bushels. Obviously you have to have the other nutrients but nitrogen is what makes it all happen.

You're on the right track - mid row banding is the way to go for high N rates at seeding. As some one else already pointed out 14+ protein wheat means the crop was swimming in available N while it was filling. I'd echo the advice to ignore the neighbours. An elevator agent told me years ago "Its amazing how many 40 bushel crops in the fall won't fill a 10 bushel quota in the spring" If you want to estimate the nitrogen release potential of your soil split your sample(s). Send one half in immediately and put the other half in a sealed baggie. Throw the baggie in the corner of the office and send it in 3 or 4 weeks later. The cations (P & K) shouldn't change but the nitrogen should. The difference between the two samples is a measure of how much N your soil can release.
Swimming in available n deficient in something else. It don’t take huge n to get 45 bu crop and 14.5 pro
 

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Soo what is COP & roa?
I've been a invigor canola grower and liked 130/252/233 and trying 345pc this year. Had dekalb trials using 7444 and 76-55. 76-55 seems to be the strongest rr I've came across. Thinking to cut costs I might move to a lower fertilizer input program and put money in my pocket. I could trim 25k on my fert over 1000 acres. But what would it cost me in yield is the thing..
I meant cost of production and return on investment.

Wheat can be a pig to get yields out of till you figure out varieties, seeding rates and fertility.
 

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Swimming in available n deficient in something else. It don’t take huge n to get 45 bu crop and 14.5 pro
Where did I say it took "huge N" to get 45 bu @ 14.5 pro.

Since you seem reading impaired I'll repeat it for you - get someone to read this for you if necessary. If you get 14+ protein then it is guaranteed that the wheat was swimming in nitrogen while it was filling. A fall soil test on that field would have shown in excess of 50# available N.

14.5 protein at 45 bushels says nothing about any other nutrient availability or deficiency but it absolutely says there was excess available N at the time of filling.
 

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I'm a fairly new farmer, I started 7 years ago with a half section in east central sask. I took over land from a low input style guy (as his land was cheaper than average) and each year I've Been doin soil tests and have seen gradual residual fert increases, same as yield increases.

My goal here is to keep my yields on the rise as they are now flattening out so I'm here asking the professionals. My first year farming I've went from using an old cultivator with a bg airtank applying 70lbs of fertilizer (32 actual n) for cereals and hiring out my canola seeding as the cultivator didn't seem to work well with canola. First year yields were horrible wheat didn't hit 20 and canola went 17. Then on year 2 switched Over to using the cultivator to preband n and s with before seeding then hiring in a custom guy with a seedmaster to seed all crops. 1st year hiring in the seedmaster wheat went 23 and canola with 24. (Getting it custom done got expensive fast and could only apply 200lbs of fert product) (each year of doing this yield went up 2 -4 bpa as I'm guessing residual fert was there after a year or 2 of this style.

After year 5 I have now ended up with my own equipment. An old versatile tractor and a 8810 drill with single shoot openers and midrow nh3. In doing this change to nh3 I overcame the problem of only being able to apply 80n 30p 0 10 as I have switch to s10 / s15 dry fert at 130 lbs of product per acre and being able to apply 160 n 40 p 0 20 s. In doing this change and applying higher rates of fertilizer I almost got a 10 bushel an acre increase my 1st year and as seen thru my soil tests I'm seeing more residual fert. My average yield last fall was 35 canola and 45 wheat with 14.5 % protein. I'm not proud to say but I run a wheat / canola rotation as all my neighbors do also.

I do a light harrow in the spring, followed by a glyphosate burnoff before canola, a inferno duo / glyphosate burnoff before wheat. Then seed. Do 2 incrops of liberty with rotating group ones mixed in (centurion / assure 2) in wheat I've had good luck with tundra as fields are clean usually do a preharvest dessicate and run older nh rotary combines but do good at spreading the straw and chaff. My question to everyone is, how do I keep going up from here? My neighbors claim mid 40s for canola and 60s for wheat. There average fert blend is 100n 35p 0 20s??? What I'm I doing wrong?? I'm ok with a break even stand point with my current input program with a one day ill get a bumper crop wish as I work off farm and don't need the farm to generate income but it would be nice to upgrade equipment and to get some tips from the pros to help get better!! And more $$ thanks everyone in Advance!!
What are your soil tests telling you? N, P, organic matter changes? You probably know how to read it, but the Hefty brothers have some helpful videos on youtube (Search "Hefty how to read a soil test").

I feel like you're putting on a lot of N, especially if you're in a marginal land or low rainfall area. That might be just going down the drain, and better spent elsewhere (or save the money). Your neighbors are putting on about what we do, and although every year is different, seeing about the same yields (2250 lb canola and 55 bpa wheat is sort of an average). Our land varies pretty wildly though too, from good heavy ground to light sandy soil.

Better wheat varieties were a big thing for us. That seemed to jump our average about 6-8 bu in the past few years.

I've only been farming 10 years so I guess I'm still fairly new as well. I feel you're definitely on the right track though, and wanting to improve is half the battle :)
 

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Have access to manure from anywhere? That is like instant soil profile and organic matter. If you plan on just building through continuous cropping and spreading the straw you've got a long process ahead of you. My dad and I have finally got some land turned around, through continuous cropping, and minimum tillage seeding, and it's taken years. We still have some land that used to historically oats, with the straw baled and then summerfallowed, and I still feel like it isn't where I would like it to be compared to the other land.
 

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Get a soil test done, but I agree with others that moisture was probably your limiting factor. A dry finish will tend to reduce the carbohydrate content of the seed which has the effect of increasing the protein/carbohydrate ratio, effectively increasing the protein %.

Best way to build organic matter is to increase biomass of crops thru saving moisture and having adequate nutrient levels, especially nitrogen. If soil structure is poor with few air spaces, lightly tickling the stubble into the ground after harvest increases the sponge effect of the soil enabling you to collect and store more moisture. It also feeds the microbiology that converts organic matter to soil humus.
I would guess this is your main problem. Poor structure.
 

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Where did I say it took "huge N" to get 45 bu @ 14.5 pro.
Holy **** mr defensive I ll just leave it at that. Have a great day and hope you have a great year farming
Since you seem reading impaired I'll repeat it for you - get someone to read this for you if necessary. If you get 14+ protein then it is guaranteed that the wheat was swimming in nitrogen while it was filling. A fall soil test on that field would have shown in excess of 50# available N.

14.5 protein at 45 bushels says nothing about any other nutrient availability or deficiency but it absolutely says there was excess available N at the time of filling.
 

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We often refer to our soil type as the "beach at Waikiki ". our home half has not been black since 1973 and has been zero disturbance for 10 years.

Use micro nutrients, ignore field trials that say micros don't work as the trial sites are not likely to be on sandy variable soil farmed like yours has been.

Peas love sandy soil. much less disease in peas grown on sandy soil and you can get fall rye planted after harvesting the peas.

Keep in mind plant densities and genetics play a big part in yield in wheat. We use 120 lbs of seed per acre on eight inch spacing in our sandy soil.
 
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