Every year, almost immediately after harvesting our last plot, we start the process of planning what we grow and evaluate next year. That is what farming is all about and that is what Richardson Farms is all about—our commitment to supporting and promoting Canadian agriculture. With all the new products and technologies entering the market, we are excited to test them in real life situations across Western Canada. But it is not always about new technologies and the latest farm equipment. Sometimes, it is simply about looking at some age-old questions, like crop rotation, row spacing and plant populations.
Kelburn Farm consists of 700 acres of heavy clay soil in the Red River Valley, adjacent to the Red River. It is a productive growing area with a long growing season, but with one major limitation—excess moisture. We rely on surface drainage to manage excess moisture on the farm. Lots of moisture usually results in lush growth, high yields and a great place to test fungicides and push fertility management. Large, one-acre plots dominate what we do at Kelburn, alongside small replicated trials and small plot demonstrations.
Bennett Farm consists of 600 acres of the Black and Thin Black soils of the Regina Plains, adjacent to the Wascana Creek. Also a productive growing area, it receives about three inches less rainfall than Kelburn, making it more adaptable to pulse crops such as peas, lentils, soybeans and durum wheat. It is also dominated by large, one-acre plots alongside small replicated trials and small plot demonstrations. Although still in its first few years as a research farm, it has gotten off to a great start!