Kim Jo Calder, manager of the Emo Research Station, has taken every advantage of the early spring, with many of the cereal crops for her performance trials already in the ground there.
Calder started seeding the middle of last week although she said the ground was worked up and ready by Monday.
Two things forced her to wait a while before getting this year’s research crops in. First, she couldn’t do the work by herself, noting two people are needed for seeding at the station.
Then there was the problem of getting the seed itself, which has posed a few difficulties.
“We just got more seed in [Monday],” Calder said. “But we don’t have all our seeds in. It has to go on such a trail—from Ottawa, to Guelph, to New Liskeard, to Thunder Bay, to Emo.”
But slow seed delivery isn’t causing any major concerns with the research stations, Calder said, given the extra few weeks the early spring has brought to the seeding season.
“In the past, when the seeding has been drawn out, we finish seeding around the same time you do pasture trials,” she noted. “Now, you may have some extra time to do other jobs before you hay.
“No one needs to panic to get stuff in the ground,” she added. “It’s not as stressful [this year].”
In addition to the cereal trials, the research station also will be performing its normal battery of tests on forage crops. New for strip trials this year will be sorghum and millet, and hemp trials also will be done there again.
“It’s still early to know all of trials,” Calder said, noting the head of research development has just returned to work after being away for several weeks. “We may have more coming in.”
Meanwhile, Calder is hoping the early seeding time is an omen for a good year at the research station, not to mention area farmers. But a good year will depend on moisture levels returning to normal.
“We need moisture,” she stressed. “Right now it’s not so critical because it’s so cool. We need to have some warmer nights before we get concerned.
“A couple of weeks [with no rain] is not too bad but then we’ll need some moisture,” she continued. “We need a nice warm rain.”