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Discussion Starter #1
Was thinking of doing a field again this year. Last time was 3 years ago. I now have a seeding rig that is VR capable. Any benefits to varying the seeding rate? Could put some fertilizer down also.

I'm running a seedmaster with on-frame tanks and a tow behind 3 compartment. The tow behind goes down the fertilizer shank and the on-frame is seed shank.

I think the only benefit for the canola would be to have slightly higher rates to push maturity a little bit? Thoughts? The last variety I used was 5535 Brett Young. No longer available. Not sure how a short season Pioneer would compare. Had a neighbor do it last year. Need to check with him and see how the timing worked out.

Looking at varying the peas more. Normal rates on hilltops. Less on low areas and saline spots. Opposite for canola. More in the low areas less on hills.

VR the fertilizer? It is going in the same row as the peas. I have it zone sampled. ~20 lb N 7 ppm P and 50 lb to off the chart sulfur. Does zoning it matter? Can top dress liquid with the sprayer. I might do part of the field late season just to see what happens.
 

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What happens when you combine a VR field of two different crops? Do you have to make constant adjustments to keep it in the machine because the ratio of the volume between the two crops is always changing? Or am I overthinking it all the way out to the end result?

But other than that, no deep insight. Everything you mentioned makes sense for seeding rates, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What happens when you combine a VR field of two different crops? Do you have to make constant adjustments to keep it in the machine because the ratio of the volume between the two crops is always changing? Or am I overthinking it all the way out to the end result?

But other than that, no deep insight. Everything you mentioned makes sense for seeding rates, etc...
I think the ratio of final yield is going to be different no matter how it's seeded. Just looking to maximize each crop in each field zone.
 

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I’d do it the other way around.
Have never thought canola after peas ideal as seems to be slower at the start(think it a seedling disease thing) - if it makes it through early stages does seem to improve later on(assume the N boost). Of course, you also have some chemistry issues if the typical pea program used and not seeding Clearfield canola. I would go peas after canola anytime mkt said so, though.
 

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Have never thought canola after peas ideal as seems to be slower at the start(think it a seedling disease thing) - if it makes it through early stages does seem to improve later on(assume the N boost).
Partly.
If you happen to have a dry year (2018) both wheat and canola on pea stubble yielded about 30% higher.
Our theory is the roots of wheat and canola reached deeper soil profile than the previous years peas did did.
I’d swag about a 50/50 effect rooting depth and N/general pulse rotational advantage.

Your area likely doesn’t know what dry means, this was about 15 km SE of Three Hills.
 

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I can't be the only one that loses pea acres in saline areas and from drowning out? Even borderline saline areas seem to get worse with peas as the water use from weakened plants doesn't help. Then you get weeds, kochia, etc. I wouldn't be doing this on a huge scale. Thinking more for problematic fields where I see sodium and other salts increasing in my testing. If I don't have to roll it that is a plus as well. This isn't mentioning the other benefits of intercropping that other threads have covered.


Why not just seed a good crop of canola 1 year, then a good crop of peas the next year?
With the VR aspect I'm looking to seed two good crops in the same year in their best suited zones in the field. Is that not worth doing? I had a pea field last year that seeded acreage was 136 and I harvested 111. In some cases taking land out of production to put into grass isn't very feasible due to it's location in the field. This land still grows canola and wheat. Why continue seeding and spraying it expecting it to get better on its own?

If I knew what the weather was going to do this year a case could be made for doing one or the other based on that but nobody seems to know until after the fact.
 

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I don't know the best numbers to use but totally agree with the VR seeding of intercrops. It allows you to put the best suited crop to individual areas of the field but still maintain a mix throughout so that if conditions favor one over the other that given year it is still there to do well. Lots of research showing Land Equivalency Ratios over 1 for intercrops.
 

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Variable rate is a great idea for intercropping. I am lucky to not have saline here. At least not to the effect of heavy crop injury. I was just chatting with the seed cleaner here the other day and he is doing more and more pea canola and pea barley intercrops. Brian asked why bother seeding the 2 together. Well like he posted different crops do better in different areas. Both his canola and his peas benefit from each other greatly. Peas will not lodge and hang on to the canola. The money spent on N isn't required to grow the canola. The peas will make enough N for both. Peas hate to much moisture and the canola can remedy this because it can use up the excess. Canola is deep rooted so rainfall can soak in better. When it is dry canola can bring moisture from down deep and assist the peas. By the canola root system it never is completely dry with the tap root bringing moisture up. Disease is less of an issue intercropping. Nature never needs fungicide with multi species. Soil health is better with intercropping as well. Weed control with monoculture peas is always an issue. Canola will cover the ground better and control the later germinating weed seeds. This cropping method is growing more and more every year, and will be the future in farming, it is just a matter of time. Just like climate change scientists only receiving money from gloom and doom predictions. Our University funded by chem and fert companies are producing corporation ideals in their graduates. Buy more to produce more from us.
 

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A query for those that have grown peas and canola together previously.

Did you notice an impact on pea nodulation and vigour?
We tried some fodder rape/pea/oat mix in a grazing scenario and the pea vigour seemed to be markedly decreased vs other paddocks that just had pea & oats.

Curious if anyone else had observed this, I was guessing this may be due to the fodder rape acting as a bio-fumigant(?). Peas were innoculated during sowing.
 

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Why not just seed a good crop of canola 1 year, then a good crop of peas the next year?
The "Why" is the key to everything with this. Your Canadian research farms have proved the why when compared to standard farming practices. I don't know how the economics would compare to high input farmers that can get 60+ bushel canola in a given year, but I suppose that is for another thread...
 

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Every time intercropping shows up, especially since it's usually about peaola, my question is how do you address disease issues? The easiest, most guaranteed way to control disease is increase your rotation, especially with clubroot. Around here, at least before canola market took a nosedive, guys have been reluctantly going back to peas as a rotation-extending tool between canola years. Seems to me that a canola-cereal-pea-cereal rotation is the ideal rotation to limit canola to 1-in-4 years to control clubroot.

Intercropping peas and canola takes that tool away. You'll still be increasing your spore load.

If you're in an aphanomyces area, that must be considered as well.

These seem like good reasons "why not".

If we had more crop options, I'd be intercropping already.

RE: the OP, varying the seeding rate as you describe (more peas on the high areas, more canola in the lows) makes sense to me, the peas don't like wet feet and will do better on the high land if you get any significant amount of moisture, and the canola will make better use of the moisture in the lows. I think canola is more salt tolerant too.

If I were you, though, I'd still do a couple passes at fixed rates, and do your own trial to compare; hopefully you have a cart to take weights.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The "Why" is the key to everything with this. Your Canadian research farms have proved the why when compared to standard farming practices. I don't know how the economics would compare to high input farmers that can get 60+ bushel canola in a given year, but I suppose that is for another thread...
How did the canola variety you used last year work out as far as maturity?
 

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Every time intercropping shows up, especially since it's usually about peaola, my question is how do you address disease issues? The easiest, most guaranteed way to control disease is increase your rotation, especially with clubroot. Around here, at least before canola market took a nosedive, guys have been reluctantly going back to peas as a rotation-extending tool between canola years. Seems to me that a canola-cereal-pea-cereal rotation is the ideal rotation to limit canola to 1-in-4 years to control clubroot.

Intercropping peas and canola takes that tool away. You'll still be increasing your spore load.

If you're in an aphanomyces area, that must be considered as well.

These seem like good reasons "why not".

If we had more crop options, I'd be intercropping already.

RE: the OP, varying the seeding rate as you describe (more peas on the high areas, more canola in the lows) makes sense to me, the peas don't like wet feet and will do better on the high land if you get any significant amount of moisture, and the canola will make better use of the moisture in the lows. I think canola is more salt tolerant too.

If I were you, though, I'd still do a couple passes at fixed rates, and do your own trial to compare; hopefully you have a cart to take weights.
No clubroot here yet. The canola, cereal, pulse, cereal rotation is a popular one here too. The field I'm looking at is virgin pea ground and has grown canola once. I get your point though and it has occurred to me as well. This is why I'm not doing huge acres. More of a field here and there. It does make the placement of the mono crop canola difficult. While not ideal cereal cereal can be done and having peas or a pulse twice every 5 years doesn't seem burdensome to me but it depends completely on the rainfall during the year. Hate to give up a year of canola but maybe this is the year to do it? Ha

I did several trials when I grew it 3 years ago. Had a screen cleaner set up at the elevator so I could use the scale. Only had 30 acres but being a one man show with several trials it took all day ha. Will have peas across the road. Will have to see how ambitious I am when the rubber hits the road.
 

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How did the canola variety you used last year work out as far as maturity?
The peas were still mature a little earlier (maybe a week?) than the canola. I didn't lose any to shelling, but by the time they got to the bin there were some cracks because they were plenty dry. I'm gonna use the same varieties again as I don't see any Clearfield canola varieties that are earlier maturing than the Pioneer that I used. Gonna flat rate mine again this year. My seeding rates and fertility rates are tuned for the peas winning the battle more so than canola... We shall see!
 

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I think research on the disease angle needs to be done. But my hypothesis is that intercropping may be beneficial to reducing the spore load in the soil. We already know that peaola requires less (or no) fungicide for common leaf diseases. I suspect soil-borne diseases would also be reduced. Fungicide in general is really bad for the soil. Who knows what diseases are getting worse as fungicide kills off the beneficial fungi in the soil.
 

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There is a lot of concern about volunteer RR canola in soybeans and then it not being a break year from canola because it contributes to the spore load, I don't see an intercrop being any different. Either you are growing canola or not IMO, why bother with a half crop and eliminate having it as a monocrop in your rotation? Unless you are low input and wouldn't manage for high yield anyways then maybe an intercrop would net the same, I don't know. But neither of those crops reach maturity at the same time so something has to give. I would also be concerned about using my canola bullet without getting a group 10 Chemical in the chem rotation. Obviously I'm not sold on inter-cropping, so maybe my advice is useless on this one...
 

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There is a lot of concern about volunteer RR canola in soybeans and then it not being a break year from canola because it contributes to the spore load, I don't see an intercrop being any different. Either you are growing canola or not IMO, why bother with a half crop and eliminate having it as a monocrop in your rotation? Unless you are low input and wouldn't manage for high yield anyways then maybe an intercrop would net the same, I don't know. But neither of those crops reach maturity at the same time so something has to give. I would also be concerned about using my canola bullet without getting a group 10 Chemical in the chem rotation. Obviously I'm not sold on inter-cropping, so maybe my advice is useless on this one...
I use it as a means to add diversity to my rotation +/- 10 crops total. I can't grow peas or lentils by themselves due to disease in average to wetter then average years because of way too many peas/lentils over the last 25 years. Much like the OP I see it as a way to have a pulse in my rotation with less risk of having a total loss on half the field if it isn't a dry year. I've experimented on and off with this for the last 3 years and I there are a few things that I don't have dialed, but the results are promising... If you and others on this thread are profitable with your current rotation/agronomics then that's awesome,
 
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