The Breton Plots
The Breton Plots were established in 1929 near the village of Breton, 100 km southwest of Edmonton, by the Department of Soils, University of Alberta. These plots were originally designed to find a “system of farming suitable for the wooded soil belt.” The “Gray-Wooded” soils are now known as Gray Luvisolic soils and occur in the northern interior plains of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The largest area occurs in Alberta (20 million hectares), of which 5.7 million hectares are potentially arable. Today, the Breton Plots provide a model of how diverse cropping practices affect typical Gray Luvisolic soils.
The Hendrigan Plots were named for Lou Hendrigan, a local farmer who believed the best agricultural system for the Gray soils was a continuous forage system, grown to feed cattle on a mixed farm. He thought the best forage for the area was a mixture of fescue grass, which is suited to the soil and climate, and a legume such as White Dutch Clover. The purpose of the clover is to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and supply it to the soil, and the grass adds organic matter, especially because of its large root systems. >>more
The Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture
This lecture series is named in honor of Dr. Fred Bentley. Dr. Bentley's academic career, mainly at the University of Alberta, spanned over 36 years and included Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture from 1958 to 1968. Focusing on soil fertility and nutrient quality, Dr. Bentley conducted his research on Gray Luvisolic soils at the University of Alberta's Breton Plots located near Breton, Alberta. >>more