Imagine you couldn’t grow canola, warns farm leader. Clubroot’s arrival in the Peace isn’t a shocker, but it’s another sign farmers are flirting with disaster, say canola experts. If you’re growing non-resistant canola varieties, you could wake up one day to find ‘astronomical’ levels of clubroot spores, says agronomist Dan Orchard.
For the last 100 years, ever since German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch figured out how to pluck fertilizer out of thin air with brute-force chemistry, farmers have relied on an imperfect product to make their plants grow: fertilizer. Production of the stuff burns through 3 percent of the world’s natural gas annually, releases tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and runs off into rivers and streams and aquifers. Relying on fossil fuels to grow food was never exactly sustainable.
Like sulphur, Mg is moving into the foreground
No one is taking anything away from “The Big Three.” Clearly, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K) have a direct and powerful influence on yield, and must be managed with great skill.
Increasingly, though, we’re learning that secondary nutrients and micronutrients are also worth paying attention to.