Improving Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency at the SK Incubator Farm

At the Yara Saskatoon Incubator Farm, we use soil moisture probes to enable us to calculate the amount of water being used per day in mm. The past three years of data have shown higher water use in the Yara Complete Nutrition Program, which includes micronutrients from YaraVita Procote and foliar nutrition. Accessing more water and root activity at further depths are providing yield advantages, enabling crops to persevere through adverse weather conditions.

The graphics below show water movement in the soil as recorded by Crop Intelligence's soil moisture probes. Each colored line represents a sensor along the probe, which reaches a depth of 100 cm. As water is removed from the soil by root activity the lines decline in the graph. The more water being used the greater the root activity. The Yara Complete Nutrition Program has roots active deeper in the soil, accessing those nutrients at depth.

Baseline Fertility Program

moisture by depth in the baseline program

Yara Complete Nutrition 

moisture by depth in the yara program


Root depth has been measured over the last three years. The graphic below shows the average difference by treatment at three timings.

3 Year Average Water Use: Wheat

average water use in wheat

YaraVita PROCOTE BCMZ is the main contributor to the enhanced root development and water use improvements. In Western Canada, on average, YaraVita PROCOTE increases wheat yield by 2 bu/ac and canola yield by 3 bu/ac. Equating to a 6% and 9% respectively increase in nitrogen use efficiency. Meaning we are getting more yield out of the nitrogen we are applying.

wheat and canola yield and nue


Takeaway: Micronutrients are critical for water and nutrient use efficiencies

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


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.

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.