Update: Drought, Water Use and Complete Nutrition

September 2021

Complete Nutrition is More Important than Ever

The Yara Incubator Farm experienced extremely dry conditions in the 2021 growing season, with only 15% of the 30 year average of rainfall. Plants need water for growth and cooling. Being able to maximize the amount of water used by the plant is critical under stressful conditions such as drought.

Soil moisture probes were installed in each of the treatments in the trials at the Incubator Farm in 2021. The intention was to understand what was happening with soil moisture and root activity. Under extremely dry conditions, the Yara nutritional package showed earlier root development and the roots accessed stored soil water deeper than the Grower's Standard Practice (GSP), resulting in improved water use.



The soil moisture probes measure root activity at 10, 20, 30, 50, 70, and 100-centimeter intervals.

Highlights from the wheat trial

Yara treatment accessed the soil moisture at depths earlier than the GSP.

  • 50 cm depth
    • Yara accessed by June 24th
    • GSP accessed by July 2nd (8 days later)
  • 70 cm depth
    • Yara accessed by June 30th
    • GSP did not reach that depth throughout the growing season

Highlights from the canola trial

Yara treatment accessed the soil moisture at depths earlier than the GSP.

  • 70 cm depth
    • Yara accessed by June 30th
    • GSP accessed by July 12th (12 days later)
  • 100 cm depth
    • Yara accessed by July 11th
    • GSP accessed by July 23rd (12 days later)

In both crops, the amount of water used by each treatment was calculated.

  • Wheat - the Yara treatment used 12% more of the available water.
  • Canola - the Yara treatment used 18% more of the available water.
Water is used by plants to take in nutrients for growth and to cool the plant. Under extreme moisture deficiency and excessive heat, having a complete nutritional package will improve the plant's ability to access soil moisture.


What's in the Yara Nutritional Package?

Nutrients need to be applied in the right balance to be used by plants effectively. Yara makes this easy with the line-up of products available for Western Canada.

YaraVera® AMIDAS™ is a unique granular, homogenous nitrogen and sulphate sulphur fertilizer that is readily available to crops. YaraVera AMIDAS is more effective than blends because it delivers the essential nutrients in one granule for optimal crop nutrition efficiencies.

YaraVita® PROCOTE™ efficiently distributes essential micronutrients to growing crops. It is available in Boron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc or a blend of BCMZ.

YaraVita® Foliar products deliver foliar macronutrients and micronutrients, providing supplemental nutrition throughout the growing season. Essential during critical nutrient sinks and periods of stress.

Yara Crop Nutrition Program - Wheat

  • YaraVera® AMIDAS™ as nitrogen and sulphur source.
  • YaraVita® PROCOTE™ BCMZ & Cu with phosphate & potassium blend
  • YaraVita® FLEX™ (which was designed for Western Canada) with herbicide
  • YaraVita® LAST N™ with fungicide at heading

Yara Crop Nutrition Program - Canola

  • YaraVera AMIDAS as nitrogen and sulphur source.
  • YaraVita PROCOTE BCMZ & Cu with phosphate & potassium blend
  • YaraVita FLEX applied post frost (June 21)
  • YaraVita FLEX applied at 10% flowering

Micronutrients Play and Important Roll

Micronutrients provided by YaraVita PROCOTE aid in the early development of root systems which improves the roots' ability to explore for nutrients and water. Foliar applied micronutrients as found in YaraVIta FLEX have a significant effect on crop yield and water use efficiency (WUE), particularly under drought stress conditions. Some studies indicate that the micronutrients (Zn & B) increase the pollen viability under drought and heat stress that consequently increase yield and WUE (Karim et al., 2012).

micronutrient deficiency - with and without Cu.png

Pocklington Training Centre, Yara UK