Farmers taking part in this week's Cropportunities event learned what goes on behind the scenes in setting up a research trial with Wheatland Conservation Area (WCA).

WCA Farm Manager Bryan Nybo also talked about one of the research trials from last year looking at 'Managing Drought Risk Using Split Applications Of Nitrogen'.

Nybo says the trial was developed after producers who had been dealing with an ongoing drought, were asking if in a dry year, they could hold back on nitrogen at seeding time to save money, and then if it did rain later use a dual-band or post-emergent N to support higher yield potentials without being penalized.

He says they wanted to evaluate the results under dry and wet conditions and ran the trial at two different locations with Swift Current being the dry site, and Outlook running the same trial but under wet conditions.

"At Swift, we basically looked at can we save money by holding back nitrogen at seeding time? Our results showed very little yield response to increasing rates of nitrogen. We did show negative rates of return on fertilizer investment was the case in Swift Current. So we sure could save money. "

The other question was if we held back nitrogen at seeding time, and then we did receive rain are there yield penalties with the split applications of nitrogen versus had we applied all the anomaly that's eating time?

They found there was no yield penalties by applying split applications of nitrogen in a wet year, if they did it at the three to five-leaf stage they saw a yield benefit.

He notes if they delayed the application to the flag leaf stage they did see economic and yield penalties.

To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with Bryan Nybo click on the link below.