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Agricultural Research Station growing new and exciting ideas

The Agricultural Research Station highlights current research in crop varieties and yields during annual tour

THUNDER BAY - For area farmers, seeing is often believing when it comes to just what can grow from and prosper in northern Ontario soil.

On Tuesday, the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station held its annual summer tour to showcase the research being conducted and some of the new crops being tested.

Tarlok Singh Sahota, director of the Agricultural Research Station, said there are nearly two dozen crops being grown at the station this year, including several new crop varieties of spring wheat and barley, soybean, edible Navy beans, canola, mustard, flax, and quinoa.

“We test not only the conventional crops, but the new crops,” Sahota said. “These new crops bring us the new opportunities, especially at the farm level. For example, winter rye, canola, which farmers have started growing now.”

Research into the different crops can help develop better rotation for fields, better ways to control weeds, disease, and pests, and create bigger crop yields.

“We have to not only sustain the yield, but also improve upon it,” Sahota said. “With the new techniques we’ve developed with fertilizer management, the yields have improved.”

Some of the research projects underway include maximizing yield and quality of Galega, increasing winter wheat hardiness, evaluating winter rye as a cover crop, and evaluating fish waste as a source of nitrogen for spring wheat production.

This research not only benefits the farmers, but the people in the community as well, Sahota said.

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