Growing oats is an important economic activity in many of Québec’s agricultural regions. According to data from Institut de la statistique du Québec, 95,000 ha were seeded in 2012, for a total production of 220,000 tons. In 2011, oats were grown on over 4,700 farms, generating nearly $27 million in revenue. Therefore using fertilization charts that recommend doses that exceed the crop’s actual needs and the capacities of receiving environments to absorb them could cause serious agronomic and environmental impacts. So it was of some concern that the fertilization chart in Québec’s fertilization guide had been developed over the course of thirty years in cooperation with industry stakeholders and recommendations for the three main elements had not recently been tested in scientific field trials. In the case of nitrogen, recommendations varied from 40 to 60 kg per ha. So for example, if based on this recommendation a surplus of 10 kg N per ha had been used on 95,000 ha, nearly a million kilos of excess N would have been applied, with the associated environmental risks and economic losses. Therefore recommended doses of N, P, and K needed to be questioned, especially since cultural practices and fertilizers had changed since these doses were established. The grain industry needed more information on these recommendations given contemporary sustainable development objectives. Due to a lack of information, fertilization programs were not consistent among Québec producers, who did not necessarily consult the same information sources.
From 2013 to 2017
Fertilizer management, Water protection, Soil health
This project will help the grain industry ensure the quality of its products.
This project looks to develop decision-support tools informed by observations of “bellwether” plots and use these tools to disseminate relevant information to irrigators.
Researcher: Carl Boivin
This project is to arouse interest in approaches to soil health and conservation and to promote their adoption by a greater number of Quebec field crop farmers.
The project evaluated and compared the effectiveness of two types of subsoil plows (mounted on a bulldozer or a tractor) operated parallel and perpendicular to the tile drains to improve soil drainage conditions and productivity compared to control plots.
Researcher: Marc-Olivier Gasser