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How we could actually cut fertilizer and not cut production.

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Jul 28, 2022 | 08:21 31 Might have to ask Sask govt how the expanding irrigation that they were bragging about last year is going to work with federal fertilizer reduction plan. Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2022 | 08:30 32
Quote Originally Posted by TASFarms View Post
Might have to ask Sask govt how the expanding irrigation that they were bragging about last year is going to work with federal fertilizer reduction plan.
The provincial government is so phucked on the irrigation plan.

85% of acres irrigated in saskatchewan are growing dryland crops. And with the weather we are having last 2 years the yields get cut.

People....think. once the pivot goes over the crop goes back to the heat. If you are standing in a 100f heatwave and someone dumps 40f water on you.....think.

If you took every planned and existing acre of irrigation and planted it to a dryland canola crop it wouldn't fill the demand of the crush expansion.

So those crush plants will rely on the dryland acres to fill the demand.

Why not support dryland farmers instead of giving a million dollar per quarter wealth transfer to 400 farmers. Reply With Quote
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  • Jul 28, 2022 | 12:05 33 No one has said to reduce fertilizer but they DID say to reduce Emission from fert by 30 per cent.

    there are products now that stabilize nitrogen to prevent gassing of nitrous oxide. which by the way you can lose 30% or more by broadcasting at the Wrong time or putting in the ground at a Shallow depth.

    intercropping where a pulse crop gives produced N to companion oilseed crop- works well but you Wont see any fertilizer companies sponsoring any Research on this Reply With Quote
    Jul 28, 2022 | 12:44 34
    Quote Originally Posted by mustardman View Post
    No one has said to reduce fertilizer but they DID say to reduce Emission from fert by 30 per cent.

    there are products now that stabilize nitrogen to prevent gassing of nitrous oxide. which by the way you can lose 30% or more by broadcasting at the Wrong time or putting in the ground at a Shallow depth.

    intercropping where a pulse crop gives produced N to companion oilseed crop- works well but you Wont see any fertilizer companies sponsoring any Research on this
    I used ESN for 2 years. My thoughts were I saw no significant yield bump. I did see a significant cost increase and then I read that ESN leaves behind the little polymer capsules in the ground that never totally degrade. That didn’t sound environmentally friendly to me. I haven’t used it for 2 years. The only discernible benefit I could see was that it did help the fertilizer flow out of the bin. Reply With Quote
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  • jazz's Avatar Jul 28, 2022 | 13:24 35
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamloc View Post
    I used ESN for 2 years. My thoughts were I saw no significant yield bump. I did see a significant cost increase and then I read that ESN leaves behind the little polymer capsules in the ground that never totally degrade. That didn’t sound environmentally friendly to me. I haven’t used it for 2 years. The only discernible benefit I could see was that it did help the fertilizer flow out of the bin.
    We were users of ESN for 7 yrs. Until we started finding intact prills from earlier yrs. So we stopped using it. Not going to pay a premium for nutrients I cant guarantee the plants gets when it needs it.

    We now broadcast but use nitrolyzer to stabilize. The drill covers it up within a day or 2. Reply With Quote
    Jul 28, 2022 | 13:29 36 How about they ban fertilizer use in urban areas. It's all just cosmetic anyways. No food or anything of value is produced. Probably emits a lot of no2 as it is all surface broadcast.

    No lawns,parks,golf courses,etc.
    No exemptions.
    Big polluters applied that way.

    Will never get a look as they would get serious push back from their base.
    Can't risk the votes. Reply With Quote

  • jazz's Avatar Jul 28, 2022 | 13:29 37
    Quote Originally Posted by mustardman View Post
    intercropping where a pulse crop gives produced N to companion oilseed crop- works well but you Wont see any fertilizer companies sponsoring any Research on this

    Have you ever tried an intercrop. We have by accident. Clearfield canola in the lentils. They matured 3w apart. The running the flex on the ground with the reels low, just shattered the canola so big losses.

    And then we had to stop and clean them right away because we didnt want that little bit of canola sweating off and heating a bin of lentils. Last thing you want to do is stop your harvest to clean crop.

    Not worth the hassle imo. Reply With Quote

  • Jul 28, 2022 | 14:24 38
    Quote Originally Posted by mustardman View Post
    No one has said to reduce fertilizer but they DID say to reduce Emission from fert by 30 per cent.

    there are products now that stabilize nitrogen to prevent gassing of nitrous oxide. which by the way you can lose 30% or more by broadcasting at the Wrong time or putting in the ground at a Shallow depth.

    intercropping where a pulse crop gives produced N to companion oilseed crop- works well but you Wont see any fertilizer companies sponsoring any Research on this
    I’ve followed companion crops like peola and the like for years because I’d like to incorporate peas into my crop mix. I suppose we could do a lot more research for sure and figure simply just the best seeding rates for conditions and suitable varieties. Definitely worth it. I’m still skeptical about the legume nitrogen being available for the companion oilseed. Definitely needs research there to prove or disprove that. More at play than the nitrogen fixation. Reply With Quote
    Jul 28, 2022 | 14:40 39 Or just do what many have been doing for decades, use pulse crops in the crop rotation .
    Peas
    Lentils
    Faba beans
    Majority of farms have been doing this for years already and reducing N fertility on those fields
    Farmers have been hedging that risk for decades already.

    Intercropping peas and canola has been done off and on for years . Problem is maturity differences are generally too wide . Peas get too ripe before canola ready . Unless you seed the peas after but that defeats the whole purpose by a second pass burning more diesel and becomes tricky for weed control unless you grow clearfield canola .
    Also another process is needed to clean and separate . It’s been done but not as easy as it sounds . Plus in dry years one will choke out the other . Reply With Quote
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  • helmsdale's Avatar Jul 28, 2022 | 15:24 40
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamloc View Post
    I used ESN for 2 years. My thoughts were I saw no significant yield bump. I did see a significant cost increase and then I read that ESN leaves behind the little polymer capsules in the ground that never totally degrade. That didn’t sound environmentally friendly to me. I haven’t used it for 2 years. The only discernible benefit I could see was that it did help the fertilizer flow out of the bin.
    ESN here at least is a decent fit. 50% available early which gives the crop a decent start and the remaining 50% releases late which if the crop is cooked seems to help it carry over into next year, if it is in great shape adds bushels, and if its mediocre tops up the protein.

    Soil tests have certainly proven to me that it sticks around far better than straight up urea on a drier year. The polymer coating is definitely findable in following years, but I like to think that helps with soil porosity, which then helps to increase moisture absorption in a region that is tragically short of organic matter after years of soil erosion and conventional tillage! Reply With Quote
    Jul 28, 2022 | 15:35 41
    Quote Originally Posted by furrowtickler View Post
    Or just do what many have been doing for decades, use pulse crops in the crop rotation .
    Peas
    Lentils
    Faba beans
    Majority of farms have been doing this for years already and reducing N fertility on those fields
    Farmers have been hedging that risk for decades already.

    Intercropping peas and canola has been done off and on for years . Problem is maturity differences are generally too wide . Peas get too ripe before canola ready . Unless you seed the peas after but that defeats the whole purpose by a second pass burning more diesel and becomes tricky for weed control unless you grow clearfield canola .
    Also another process is needed to clean and separate . It’s been done but not as easy as it sounds . Plus in dry years one will choke out the other .
    If it was feasible guys would be doing it. I did a couple hundred acres of clovers under seeded in a wheat oats barley mix for greenfeed. Pisses me off when know nothings think farmers need to be reigned in on fertilizer use or emissions but as it stands we don’t use any more n fertilizer than 20 years ago but half the fuel. Haven’t broadcast fertilizer unless you count an extra tonne or two left over put on hay land. I look at the 4r thing and we’ve done that forever My kilt is quite tight too and farm ground as rank as my ancestors did in uk so bmp’s are paramount whether we get a crop or not. I learned a lot from my grandfather who ranched and farmed some fragile soils with success. Family members across the fence wrecked their ground from not being good stewards. I’m on very resilient soil but still like to follow his philosophy like what a lot of us here do. Reply With Quote

  • jazz's Avatar Jul 28, 2022 | 17:51 42 Furrow the problem is that pulses in rotation already will be treated just like min till was- no recognition for those efforts. Would have to go to chem fallow with cover crop to meet their new requirements. Reply With Quote
    Jul 28, 2022 | 18:21 43
    Quote Originally Posted by jazz View Post
    Furrow the problem is that pulses in rotation already will be treated just like min till was- no recognition for those efforts. Would have to go to chem fallow with cover crop to meet their new requirements.
    I know that’s the complete fallacy of this whole plan . Makes no sense at all Reply With Quote
    Jul 28, 2022 | 21:05 44
    Quote Originally Posted by furrowtickler View Post
    I know that’s the complete fallacy of this whole plan . Makes no sense at all
    We put all our nitrogen down with sprayer one pass before seeding and one pass after the chemicals are on on provide we have good potential and adjust rate accordingly always with a carbon product like molasses or humic. Seems to work for us. Reply With Quote
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  • Jul 29, 2022 | 06:49 45 Worked on an oil lease yesterday. 2 bulker loads of liquid nitrogen were used to clean the well out. Basically the n was vented to atmosphere in the end. Reply With Quote
    Blaithin's Avatar Jul 29, 2022 | 12:21 46 Seen a farmer up by Busby the other day that has been experimenting with using alfalfa pellets as fertilizer. Now I know of using the pellets in gardens and potted plants as fertilizer but the idea of applying them on a field scale…

    Says it was just banded along with the seed instead of using fertilizer. So it requires no additional equipment, I’m under the impression it required no major equipment tweaks, no additional passes for application, and costs a fraction of the price. Sounds like so far yields are comparable however I haven’t seen actual numbers so not sure.

    Either way it sounds like just the type of thing that would be the absolute easiest thing to play around with. Can go buy a tote of alfalfa pellets and test out 20 acres.

    Even if there is a yield reduction, a tonne of pellets is usually $500-$600 if my memory is serving me. Perhaps less as my quotes probably included delivery and were for smaller amounts. Save a lot on inputs if N stays high.

    Won’t help the alfalfa fields shipping their nutrition off to others but maybe they’ll be more willing to partner with cattlemen than crop farmers seem to be 😂

    Always find it interesting the ideas people have and bounce around. So much better to discuss than just the same old “Can’t be done! Prices suck!” rhetoric. Reply With Quote
    Jul 29, 2022 | 12:23 47 Hauber Bosch is over 100 years old. More than anything there needs to be a lower energy intensive method scaleable and cost effective. Even small scale plants joined onto upgraders and refiners. Ethanol plant in lloydminster uses excess heat from upgrader for distillation. No doubt we can improve the efficiency of how we apply nitrogen but the energy intensity of converting to ammonia is high and outweighs gassing off in the field. Reply With Quote
    Jul 29, 2022 | 13:13 48
    Quote Originally Posted by wiseguy View Post
    Let nutrien and yara fight the battle !

    Less fertilizer less sales !

    Less return to shareholders !
    Precisely. No one benefits from a blanket nitrogen reduction. Much as I think nothing will come of this bs. In the back of my mind I hear never say never. This is where I hope the liberals corporate friends quit returning their calls. Reply With Quote
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  • Jul 29, 2022 | 18:44 49
    Quote Originally Posted by WiltonRanch View Post
    Hauber Bosch is over 100 years old. More than anything there needs to be a lower energy intensive method scaleable and cost effective. Even small scale plants joined onto upgraders and refiners. Ethanol plant in lloydminster uses excess heat from upgrader for distillation. No doubt we can improve the efficiency of how we apply nitrogen but the energy intensity of converting to ammonia is high and outweighs gassing off in the field.
    Nitrogen fertilizer production is one of the few industries which would be a good fit for the unreliable intermittent energy generation sources. So we can safely assume that will never happen.

    I assume that you are correct, in that the powers that be are more concerned about the energy intensive process of creating the fertilizer, not the minor losses at the end. Reply With Quote
    Jul 30, 2022 | 09:05 50
    Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
    Seen a farmer up by Busby the other day that has been experimenting with using alfalfa pellets as fertilizer. Now I know of using the pellets in gardens and potted plants as fertilizer but the idea of applying them on a field scale…

    Says it was just banded along with the seed instead of using fertilizer. So it requires no additional equipment, I’m under the impression it required no major equipment tweaks, no additional passes for application, and costs a fraction of the price. Sounds like so far yields are comparable however I haven’t seen actual numbers so not sure.

    Either way it sounds like just the type of thing that would be the absolute easiest thing to play around with. Can go buy a tote of alfalfa pellets and test out 20 acres.

    Even if there is a yield reduction, a tonne of pellets is usually $500-$600 if my memory is serving me. Perhaps less as my quotes probably included delivery and were for smaller amounts. Save a lot on inputs if N stays high.

    Won’t help the alfalfa fields shipping their nutrition off to others but maybe they’ll be more willing to partner with cattlemen than crop farmers seem to be 😂

    Always find it interesting the ideas people have and bounce around. So much better to discuss than just the same old “Can’t be done! Prices suck!” rhetoric.
    Here is a crazy idea. Try feeding the alfalfa pellets to a cow or sheep etc. and get all the same nutrients out the other end, in a more usable form, and get the value added step of growing meat to sell. Reply With Quote

  • Blaithin's Avatar Jul 30, 2022 | 10:41 51
    Quote Originally Posted by AlbertaFarmer5 View Post
    Here is a crazy idea. Try feeding the alfalfa pellets to a cow or sheep etc. and get all the same nutrients out the other end, in a more usable form, and get the value added step of growing meat to sell.
    You’ve seen the kickback here from some on how they feel about sullying themselves with livestock. They aren’t interested (which is fine)

    Livestock are integral and great but that doesn’t and shouldn’t mean everyone needs to deal with them. Also huge logistical drama to get manure out to fields and spread. Again, ideally the animals are there and doing the spreading for you, but that doesn’t frequently happen, so we do it. Pile up condensed manure, transport it to a field, spread it.

    Transportation. Emissions. Compaction. Sometimes even poorly timed application and leeching. Also risks of negative soil microbe impacts and introduction of pests.

    Manure can be great. Manure can also be a lot of work.

    If someone isn’t interested in:
    A) Having or utilizing livestock on their land.
    B) Purchasing manure, equipment, or contractors to spread it.

    or maybe they
    C) Can’t access enough manure for their requirements.

    Then perhaps alternatives like direct application of pellets can fill a gap and help. It should never be about one or the other, or one or two methods. It could and should be about more of a little of everything. Dry fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, animal manure, human refuse/compost, green manure… there are a lot of options available to farmers, no reason we should be focusing on only one or two them.

    One or two leaves you more vulnerable to political intrigue legislation that is all talk, little reality.

    Besides, livestock can make manure out of any poor forage, they don’t NEED to use something than can potentially work well when applied directly. Can get more available fertilizer by using both. Reply With Quote
    Jul 30, 2022 | 11:17 52 I have lots of ideas and theories and things I have put into practice on my farm. Most here either don’t believe it works, or disregard new ideas. So this time I will just stay quiet.

    Interesting thread. Too bad most have this attitude that farming differently is pretty much impossible. It isn’t. Reply With Quote
    Jul 30, 2022 | 11:22 53 I haven't done the math or looked up the analysis of alfalfa pellets, so I could be wrong. But I would highly doubt that the economics of using them as fertilizer would be positive. The farmer who grew the alfalfa still had to buy the potash and phosphorus and sulfur and micronutrients. there was a lot of fuel involved in growing and putting up the hay,energy required to transport and dehydrating and chopping and making pellets and transporting again. Lot of middle men involved making a profit. The nitrogen may have been almost free to grow the alfalfa, but I'm not convinced that would outweigh the rest of the expenses.
    I Also don't like the idea of spending all the time and fuel and energy to be feeding and stockpiling manure and spreading manure and incorporating manure. Just eliminate all those middle steps, plant a legume, then intensive graze livestock on it for a few years, then grow crops without any additional nitrogen required. If this movement actually had anything to do with saving the environment that would be about the only sustainable solution. Reply With Quote

  • Jul 30, 2022 | 11:46 54
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepwheat View Post
    I have lots of ideas and theories and things I have put into practice on my farm. Most here either don’t believe it works, or disregard new ideas. So this time I will just stay quiet.

    Interesting thread. Too bad most have this attitude that farming differently is pretty much impossible. It isn’t.
    I keep an open mind to any and all ideas. I try as many as I can myself.

    Different economic times make different ideas viable or not. In so many ways, recent years of decent profit margins and high priced land and fuel have made many sustainable practices no longer economically sustainable. If land were nearly free and profit margins slim to none, it would be a lot more environmentally sustainable practices being implemented. Out of necessity. High land prices and high stakes dictate that maximizing production per acre is priority rather than minimizing inputs.

    I often think that if I had to choose, I would rather Farm in the lean times. So many more opportunities. Having spent my formative years in such an environment, my business sense is far more suited to that. Reply With Quote

  • Blaithin's Avatar Jul 30, 2022 | 12:03 55
    Quote Originally Posted by AlbertaFarmer5 View Post
    I haven't done the math or looked up the analysis of alfalfa pellets, so I could be wrong. But I would highly doubt that the economics of using them as fertilizer would be positive. The farmer who grew the alfalfa still had to buy the potash and phosphorus and sulfur and micronutrients. there was a lot of fuel involved in growing and putting up the hay,energy required to transport and dehydrating and chopping and making pellets and transporting again. Lot of middle men involved making a profit. The nitrogen may have been almost free to grow the alfalfa, but I'm not convinced that would outweigh the rest of the expenses.
    I Also don't like the idea of spending all the time and fuel and energy to be feeding and stockpiling manure and spreading manure and incorporating manure. Just eliminate all those middle steps, plant a legume, then intensive graze livestock on it for a few years, then grow crops without any additional nitrogen required. If this movement actually had anything to do with saving the environment that would be about the only sustainable solution.
    There’s ideal scenario - like using livestock as part of a crop rotation.

    Then there’s reality.

    Reality currently needs to look for alternate sources to try and integrate. Most are not anywhere near implementing that ideal type scenario, primarily because ideal in one way does not mean ideal in other ways.

    The movement - by actual people interested in the environment - is almost exactly what you describe. But the political movement has too many layers of partnerships to be that cut and dried and logical. Then there’s the movement of the farmers who have no interest in being that kind of environmentally sustainable. They are working on economic sustainability and feel the two are not compatible, they are as environmentally friendly now as they ever feel they need to be.

    Too many personalities, too many different goals, too many different variables; that’s why there needs to be more options to use as answers. Not less. Reply With Quote
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  • Jul 30, 2022 | 12:41 56 Very well said. At the end of the day, economic sustainability trump's any other longer term sustainability.
    I did an environmental farm plan a few years ago. I was completely honest about drainage and removing trees and wildlife habitat.
    Because I have had to buy all of the land we Farm at modern values, every acre has to pay for itself. Losing crop to drown outs and tree roots and wildlife damage are not economically sustainable practices. So I do everything I can to prevent those losses.
    I justified those actions in the farm plan by explaining that if I'm not economically sustainable, and go out of business, then all of the other environmentally sustainable practices we do apply(no till, integrating livestock, responsible and minimal fertilizer and chemical application, Etc), are for nothing, if whoever takes over the land next does not follow the same practices.

    The person accepting the plan agreed completely.

    I have often suggested that capitalism is a very poor fit for farming. Squeezing the producer with prices that trend towards the cost of production of the lowest cost producer can only result in short-term gain at the expense of long-term sustainability. Not a good model for maintaining our most precious resource, topsoil. We should all be thinking about what is best for the land 100 years from now, not how to keep the banker happy 6 months from now.
    Although I am quite certain that any other economic model or government meddling could only make it worse judging by past history. Reply With Quote

  • Jul 30, 2022 | 16:51 57 Pig barns must fit this model as the manure is applied under ground and adds locally produced nutrients. Although it is in fact a nutrient transfer from someone else's fields.
    No one wants to live near a pig barn but everyone would like to have land near one.


    The problem with government initiatives is that if the program is a failure they expand it in attempting to correct it.
    If the program is at all successful and provides income incentives they cancel it. Reply With Quote
    Aug 9, 2022 | 07:27 58 Reaction from Western Canada premiers

    youtu.be/jyMl0OwoRV8

    Trudeau will ignore any opposition and push forward with the U.N. / WEF driven policy , he answers to them , not Canadians. Reply With Quote
    Aug 9, 2022 | 10:15 59 K.I.S.S. Get some alfalfa seed and a tandem disc and cut out the middle man. Reply With Quote
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  • Aug 9, 2022 | 11:37 60 Just cutting my fertilizer reduction strategy right now. It only works if it rains enough. Usually we get enough rain to make a crop. Some years just that or a bit less and anything extra could be detrimental to the water supply unless land is taken out of production for a period of time for a green manure or fallow. Made sense when land was under $100000 a quarter but 4 to 5 times that and economically you’ll eventually go under unless you can derive some more economic benefit like grazing or forage. However, for it to be sustainable long term any of that growth must stay on that land as is or passed through a cows bowels. What government is preaching may work for smaller mixed farms which present economics and government do not seem to actively support. If they were serious about a more sustainable system with lower emissions a massive shift in diet and less reliance on foreign imports, and less exports of food would be in order. Agribusiness would essentially have to contract to 50% or less of what it is now, and government would essentially need to subsidize like before nafta in order to keep people on the land. It’s a no go and we’d end up having to import more from the Americans while our exports would be backfilled by Russia. I swear some days Russia is probably funding this bs like anti pipeline groups. Reply With Quote
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