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Crop Research

Olds College is located on 3,600 acres of prime farmland in central Alberta, and the Olds College Centre for Innovation’s Crops division has dedicated fields for applied research purposes. Crops research – as small plot trials or full field investigations – is a key part of our research portfolio. With a 3,600 acre farm, greenhouses, labs, and a microbrewery, Olds College is an ideally situated partner with you to address your applied research requirements.

Crops Research Goals

  • To develop and test ways to improve agronomic practices, and helping clients do the same.

  • To help producers and agriculture companies enhance their yield, while consuming fewer resources.

  • To assist producers transition to a climate-resilient agriculture economy.

Crops Research Services

  • Variety trials
    Typically wheat, barley, canola, flax, oats, peas, faba and lentils. Other crops types include quinoa, camelina and triticale.

  • Fertilizer trials
    Replicated small plot or large strip trials. Broadcast, in-row and foliar application.

  • Herbicide and fungicide trials
    Disease, phytotoxicity and efficacy ratings for in-house or PMRA audience.

  • Insecticide trials
    Primarily label extension for commercial products, but including biorationale products and entomopathogenic nematodes.

  • Use of our specialized small plot combine
    Yield response trials, Zurn 150 features on-board weighing and moisture-adjusted yields

Primary Equipment

Zurn 150 plot combineWintersteiger Plot XL cone-belt precision seederKubota L6060 tractor with Trimble auto-steer and gps guidanceCO² handboom and 3-point hitch plot sprayers

Crops Research Projects

  • Small plot experiments for inputs such as foliar fertilizers, new desiccants, organic inputs, soil health improvers and conditioners.

  • Spearheading the program to complete PMRA value package assessments for new pesticide use patterns to control the increased resistance of specific pests in Southern Alberta

  • Small plot experiments for new crops (regionally) such as quinoa, hemp and hop

  • Large strip trials for crop interventions such as air-spraying comparisons

  • Greenhouse trials on planting tray or pot scale (usually to test efficacy of fertilizer or soil conditioners)

  • Lab to field studies such as non-labelled pesticide efficacy on target pests for possible label expansion.

  • Supporting Alfalfa growers toolbox to deal with increasing rates of resistant insects and weeds by multi-year, multi-layered approach


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC)

Alberta Wheat

Alberta Pulse

Canola Council of Canada

Team Members

Ike Edeogu
Environmental Stewardship Ike Edeogu P.Eng, M.Sc

Research Manager

☎ 403.556.4650

Ike Edeogu is the Smart Agriculture Applied Research Manager with Olds College Centre for Innovation. He is a professional engineer with an M.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Alberta. Prior to joining Olds College in 2020, Ike worked with Alberta's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for about 25 years in the application of applied research and innovation techniques and principles towards the advancement of Alberta’s agricultural sector. He has a vast network of professional contacts from across the private sector, academia, government, and non-government organizations, both across Canada and abroad.

Shabeg Briar
Crop Research Shabeg Briar Ph.D., P.Ag.

Research Agronomist

☎ 403.507.7980

Shabeg Briar earned his B.Sc. degree in Agronomy and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Nematology from Ohio State University, USA. Currently in his role as a Research Agronomist, he is responsible for conducting small plot crop trials related to herbicide efficacy, crop variety evaluation and pest management studies. He is a certified professional agronomist and possesses a pesticide applicator license. Prior to this, he was working as a Research Scientist with Montana Ag. Exp. Station. During his Ph.D. work at the Ohio State University, he focused on soil health of farming systems and studied bio-indicators and their role in the soil food web. He has published several peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and extension articles.

Hilke Beuck
Crop Research Hilke Beuck

Research Technician - Field Crops

☎ 403.556.8322

Currently, Hilke is working as a Research Technician with the crops division of OCCI and specializes in small plot research trials for herbicide efficacy, fertilizer and germplasm screening. Prior to this Hilke worked with a German company for eight years involved in the cultivation of a new strain of grains and was responsible for the technical realization of field, greenhouse and laboratory trials of wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Hilke received an Agricultural-Technological Assistant Diploma in 1990 from Germany.

Leona Megli
Crop Research Leona Megli B.A.Sc.

Research Technician - Field Crops

☎ 403.556.4674

Leona Megli is working with OCCI's Crops Research team as a Research Technician. Leona obtained her B.A.Sc. from Olds College in 2006 and her interest in research was sparked when she worked as a summer student for the Nursery Crops division of Crop Diversification Centre South in Brooks, AB. Prior to joining the OCCI team, Leona worked as a Horticulture Technician for 15 years with Olds College Grounds.