Kristen MacMillan

Kristen P. MacMillan

Research Agronomist-in-Residence
Soybean and Pulse Crop Agronomy and Cropping Systems
Department of Plant Science

Room 113 Plant Science
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 CANADA
kristen.macmillan@umanitoba.ca
(204) 474-9884 
Twitter: @kpmacmillan

Research Interests

The Soybean and Pulse Agronomy Lab focuses on applied soybean, dry bean and pea agronomy and optimization of soybean and pulse cropping systems. The goal of my research program is to study and develop best management practices and cropping systems that optimize agronomy, profitability and sustainability for farmers in Manitoba and western Canada. I also bring leadership in the area of applied science, extension, teaching and integration of those processes.

  • Soybean, dry bean and pea agronomy
  • Cropping systems
  • Intercropping and relay cropping
  • Farm, field and crop management
  • Integrated crop and soil management
  • Extension and training

What is agronomy?

Agronomy is the study of soils and plants, the practice of field crop production, and the management of land and water resources. 

- U of Manitoba 

Mission

Study and develop best management practices for soybean, dry bean and pea cropping systems through agronomic research, extension and training. 

Funding acknowledgements

Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers 
The soybean and pulse agronomy research lab was initiated by and remains primarily funded by Manitoba soybean, dry bean and pea farmers through the Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers association. Supplementary funding has also been provided by the Province of Manitoba and Government of Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and Growing Forward II.

Education

M.Sc. Plant Science (Cropping Systems), Department of Plant Science, 2013, University of Manitoba

B.Sc. Agriculture (Major: Agronomy, Minor: Soil Science), 2011, University of Manitoba

Agriculture diploma (General), 2008, School of Agriculture, University of Manitoba

Professional designations

Professional Agrologist, Manitoba Institute of Agrologists 

Certified Crop Advisor, American Society of Agronomy

Background

Kristen joined the Department of Plant Science in 2016 through a grassroots initiative led by the Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers in partnership with the University of Manitoba to increase capacity to conduct applied agronomy research focused on soybeans, dry beans and peas in Manitoba. The inaugural Agronomist-in-Residence initiative also aims to enhance student experiences and prioritize extension.

Since 2017, Kristen has developed and led 14 applied research experiments throughout agro-Manitoba and prioritizes rapid dissemination of results for on-farm adoption. She collaborates with applied research centers and farmers to test agronomic practices in a range of cropping systems. Under her leadership, Kristen’s team has inspired 5 technicians, 5 undergraduates and over 15 high school students in soybean and pulse crop agronomy and Manitoba cropping systems.

Prior to joining the U of M, Kristen was the first Production Specialist and Director of Research & Production with Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers from 2013-2016 during the major soybean acreage expansion. Kristen developed the first Research & Production Strategy for the organization which included the Bean Report, field scouting network, targeted research investments, expansion and branding of the On-Farm Network, disease survey and a suite of production resources. She met many farmers, agronomists and industry advisors along the way and maintains a strong connection to the field.

Current projects 

  • Establishing a long-term pea crop rotation (planned for 2021)
  • Effect of preceding crop, residue management and P fertilizer on yellow pea (2020-2024)
  • Evaluating new dry bean inoculants (2019-continuing)
  • Developing integrated weed management strategies for soybean (2019-2021)
  • Intercropping with soybeans and peas in the Interlake (2019-continuing)
  • Relay and intercropping with soybeans and peas at Carman (2017-continuing)
  • Soybean iron deficiency chlorosis and yield (2017-continuing)
  • Yellow pea growth stages and effect of intercropping on pea aphids (2017-continuing)
  • Effect of preceding crop and residue management on dry bean (2017-2021)
  • Evaluation of fungicide product and timing in soybean (2017-2019)
  • Evaluating soybean seeding windows in Manitoba (2017-2020)
  • Soybean seeding depth assessment (2017-2020)
  • Optimizing nitrogen fertility rates for dry beans in Manitoba (2017-2020)
  • Evaluating the effect of simulated hail damage on soybean maturity, yield and quality in western Canada (2015-2018)
  • Effect of delayed seeding date, cultivar and environment on soybean yield components and seed quality (2015-2017)

Teaching

DAGR 0630 Soybean Field Agronomy - New field-based experiential learning course developed in 2018 and delivered in 2018 and 2019

PLNT 0410 Cereal and Oilseed Production Practices, PLNT 0760 Special Crops, PLNT 4590 Crop Physiology, PLNT 7660 Advanced Crop Production - Guest lectures and case studies

Annual Reports and Publications

2019-2020 Annual Report

Samaranayake I.K.G.L. and K.P. MacMillan. 2020. Yellow pea growth stages and effect of intercropping on pea aphid populations in Manitoba. Poster presented at the Manitoba Agronomists Conference, Winnipeg, MB.

MacMillan K.P and R.H. Gulden. 2020. Effect of seeding date, environment and cultivar on soybean seed yield, yield components, and seed quality in the Northern Great Plains. Agronomy Journal; 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.20185

2018 Annual Report

MacMillan K.P., B.J. Cassone, D. Flaten, R.H. Gulden, Y. Lawley and R. Mohr. 2017. Soybean agronomy highlights from western Canada: the new frontier. Poster presented at the Manitoba Agronomists Conference, Winnipeg, MB.

 

Selected Articles

A Practical alliance: University and industry benefit from agronomist-in-residence” (UM Today 2019)

Dig up those (dry bean) roots! (Pulse Beat 2019)

“Putting class theory into field practice: The University of Manitoba has introduced a new hands-on field course designed to introduce research principles to help second-year diploma students apply learning from their first year of study ” (Manitoba Cooperator 2018)

“How deep is too deep when planting soybeans?” A University of Manitoba researcher thinks there should be more attention paid to soybean seeding depth (Manitoba Cooperator 2018)

“How much N? A soil test isn’t the only answer”  Different crops, different varieties, different inoculants, and different soil environments all affect the N-application decision these days (Country Guide 2018)

“Yield impact of yellow soybeans and management strategies” (Pulse Beat 2018)

“Evaluating the effect of simulated hail damage on soybean maturity, yield and quality” (Top Crop Manager 2017)

 

 

Kristen MacMillan

2019-2020 Annual Report

MacMillan K.P and R. H. Gulden. 2020. Effect of seeding date, environment and cultivar on soybean seed yield, yield components, and seed quality in the Northern Great Plains. Agronomy Journal; 1-13. (Download)

2018 Annual Report