Posted June 3, 2021 | By: Brianna Lummerding

Manager of Agronomic Services

Seeding the Nutrien Ag Solutions Innovation Acres at the Discovery Farm had us holding onto our hats but was a great day to get the project into the ground. Yes, that is the official launch of our project name! Our 40 acres at the Discovery Farm has been officially named the Nutrien Ag Solutions Innovation Acres. Why innovation acres? These 40 acres showcase the heart and soul behind all the innovative things that Nutrien Ag Solutions can provide to growers. Innovation does not mean complication or spending a fortune, it is maximizing profit on every acre with the right tools.

The Innovation Acres were seeded May 27th, a few days after receiving a nice 40mm rain on the site. By luck with a break in the wind, Joel Peru- Field and Farm Manager at the Discovery Farm was able to get all our acres sprayed the day before seeding. Joining us on seeding day was Blake Weiseth - Applied Research Lead, Gary Sollid - Proven Seed Rep, and Amy Katzman - Echelon Account Manager.

A local Langham farmer - Mark Thompson - came with his Seedhawk to get our 40 acres in the ground. Working in plot research in the past, he was a perfect partner with his care to detail and patience with our four crop types, that came with roller and fertilizer tank changes. We had a bit of a challenge getting through some tough wet straw at the beginning of the day but would not dare complain, seeing as the challenges were due to some recent rains.

When visiting the 40 acre site, it generally looks pretty even with not much topography changes. But this field historically is one that is limited by either too much moisture or salinity. This type of field is perfect for variable rate fertilizer placement using Echelon. We were able to map and move the fertility away from the saline zones and place into the more productive areas to maximize yield. A 2 acre area to the south of the newly seeded barley is our Salinity Project with salt tolerant perennial forages. This area is now one year past seeding, which was 2020 and boy does it look great! The Halo 2 alfalfa stand is healthy even in areas of higher salinity. The AC Saltlander grass and the Salinemaster mix have both taken off and ground cover with these mixes has dominated. Without any in-crop spraying, and working with mowing to control weeds, we were able to establish a really good perennial forage crop on saline acres. A great option for acres that are too saline for a profitable annual crop.

Innovation is also not being afraid to try new things. Seeding of Nutrien’s Innovation Acres is the start of the many innovative products this site will show. Current highlight products include new seed varieties of TruFlex canola, WestLin 60 flax, AAC Broadacres wheat, and Altorado barley and pairing those with a solid Echelon variable rate fertilizer program including ESN and MAP+MST with Atlas enhancer. The best varieties partnered with a solid fertilizer program is the best start to a great crop.

Did the seeding come without challenges? Absolutely not. But with innovative products and the right people, the acres are now sitting happily seeded awaiting a bright future.

I look forward to sharing with you the rest of the story as the seeds break ground.


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