Crop sequencing of large acreage crops and special crops

  • Term: Four years, starting 2015

  • Funding amount: $125,790

  • Lead researcher(s): William May, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

  • Funding partners: Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), Agriculture Development Fund (ADF), Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA), Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan (CDCS)

Project Description

Producers are always evaluating their crop sequences and rotations seeking to maximize returns without jeopardizing future income through poor agronomic practices. At the same time, there is a growing global demand for special crops such as coriander, canaryseed, hemp, hay, ginseng, quinoa, fenugreek, clover, mustard seed, sunflower seeds, safflower and sugar beets. With this growth in mind, more and more traditional crop producers are shifting production to include specialty crops in their rotation, but to date most information on sequences and rotation is anecdotal and the industry has identified the lack of agronomic information as a major barrier to growth.

This study will evaluate the benefits of crop sequences for major and special crops across a wide range of environments, as Saskatchewan is home to a variety of environmental conditions due to diverse temperatures, precipitation levels and water loss, with semiarid conditions in the south-west and sub-humid conditions in the northeast. This study will determine the robustness of recommended crop sequences across a wide range of environmental conditions.

Specific project objectives include determining the best fit of special crops into crop sequences and if optimum crop sequences change depending on the environment.