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Growing seasons on the Canadian Prairies are generally shorter than those in other soybean growing regions like Eastern Canada and the US, which means many Western Canadian growers are looking for a soybean variety that not only delivers the best in agronomic performance and yield, but also matures earlier.
Dave Swanton is a grower just outside of Dauphin, Manitoba. He grows red spring wheat, canola and perennial ryegrass on his 3,000-acre farm. He also grows soybeans, which, to some growers in Western Canada, is an unpopular decision. Some farmers have grown wary of growing soybeans again due to the low yields they produced from 2017-2019, as a result of the drier growing seasons in Western Canada during that time. Swanton, however, feels differently about this legume crop. One of the many reasons he likes soybeans, he says, is because he believes they are easy to grow. We dug deeper with Swanton to find out why, even though soybean acres have declined in the past few years, farmers should give soybeans a second chance.
It was August 2003, and Dr. Stephen Strelkov was beginning his career as a plant pathology professor at the University of Alberta, intending to specialize in Tan Spot disease on wheat, which had been the focus of his PhD and postdoctoral work. One month later, the first case of Clubroot in canola was reported in Alberta. That’s when Dr. Strelkov’s plans changed. He shifted to specializing in Clubroot research and helped create the Canadian Clubroot Differential set that has helped plant breeders across Western Canada develop next-generation canola traits for Clubroot resistance.