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Crop Production

Crop Production

With 3,600 acres of farmland to work with, the crop research team at Olds College of Agriculture & Technology is able to perform small plot, strip plot, or full-field commercial scale crop production trials.

The key goals for crop research are to develop and test ways to improve agronomic practices — including nutrient application or pest management — in order to enhance crop yield while consuming fewer resources. Ultimately, the intent is to transition the food production sector to a climate-resilient, agricultural, circular economy.

The crop research team delivers results that can be applied to real farms to meet the goals of efficiency, profitability and sustainability.

Crop Research Services Include

  • Conducting regional variety trials (RVTs) as well as fertility, herbicide, fungicide and insecticide trials. 
  • Performing field, greenhouse and laboratory studies focusing on chemical and biological integrated pest management, soil health, crop rotation, nitrogen use efficiency, new crop evaluation and crop variety testing programs.

Crops Research Projects

  • A precision sprayer technology is being tested at the farm level on the Smart Farm — in replicated field trials — and is achieving strong results with significant reductions in chemical application. Researchers aim to continue exploring the merits of green-on-brown precision spraying towards the identification of viable weed management options for barley, canola and pulse growers.

  • A project on enhanced yields in winter wheat versus spring wheat looked at profitability and suitability under the unique growing conditions in central Alberta. The team has also been testing winter rye versus spring rye with great success over the last three years, along with examining winter survivability, winter kill, disease resistance and yield. The findings are encouraging and should provide a good option for cereal growers — especially during drought prone years.

  • A pest-related project is exploring the prevalence of insect pests in cereal fields. For the coming year, the focus will be on root lesion nematodes and investigating possible spatial correlation with wire worm infestations. A second project is underway exploring the effectiveness of beneficial nematode species as a biological control measure for mitigating damage to canola crops caused by black cutworms and root maggots.

Team Members
Hilke Beuck headshot

Hilke Beuck

Research Technician - Field Crops

Shabeg Briar headshot

Shabeg Briar

Research Agronomist

Ike Edeogu headshot

Ike Edeogu

Research Manager

Leona Megli  headshot

Leona Megli

Research Technician - Field Crops

researcher with student in field

Crop Research Projects

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Crop Research

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

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