Canola Quiz – Geography
We have four questions with a geography theme. Three of them have good agronomy messages loaded into the answer section. One is just for fun.
In This Issue
Do your research before using heat-fighting products
Canola does not handle extreme heat well. With temperatures into the 30s across the Prairies, growers are looking for anything that might mitigate heat stress. However, buyer beware: there are companies claiming their products can reduce heat stress in canola, but these may not necessarily be a fit for your farm. Your best bet is to use good data (emphasis on “good”) to evaluate products. It should be independently verified across several years and environments. For more information on the impact of heat on canola, see this Country Guide article (which has management tips) and this Canola Encyclopedia section.
Should I spray sclerotinia and when?
Sclerotinia stem rot prefers wet conditions. If you walk out of a canola stand with soaking wet pants, it is likely that there is disease pressure in your crop. However, this won’t be the case for many farmers in western Canada experiencing extremely hot, dry conditions right now. Still, if you suspect the presence of sclerotinia, now is the time to act. This video can help you make the decision to spray to control sclerotinia or not. Check out this video for tips on when best to spray for the disease. This Canola Encyclopedia article also offers valuable advice around fungicide timing.
A rule of thumb for spraying cabbage seedpod weevils
Farmers are asking a lot of questions about how to manage cabbage seedpod weevil this season. This article offers some key management tips. Keep in mind, however, that insect thresholds are often nominal thresholds or “educated estimates.” If you’re concerned the population might still be arriving in your field, hold off on spraying cabbage seedpod weevils until you find half-inch pods (the point where adult females can start to lay eggs in developing canola pods) on the plant stem. This, of course, requires scouting with a sweep net. Four sweep counts of 10 in two paired locations is likely sufficient to estimate whether or not the number of CSPW adults justifies control with a foliar insecticide. Check out the latest research on cabbage seedpod weevils here.
Tips for scouting and managing lygus bugs
No threshold exists for lygus bugs in a bolting crop but limited damage has been documented at this crop stage in canola. The end of flowering is the time to assess your field for the presence of lygus bugs. Scouting techniques for these canola pests can be found here while overall management strategies are available here. One important thing to remember is that even excessively high numbers of lygus very rarely require insecticide control at flowering. General information about lygus bugs is available in the video at the top of this email.
Moisture retention a feature of direct seeding/zero till practices
Direct seeding/zero till practices are meant — among other things — to preserve moisture in times of need. With dry, scorching temperatures throughout the Prairies, this is a good time to have some extra moisture on hand. Jason Casselman, a Canola Council of Canada agronomist based in northern Alberta, says the practice has definitely helped conserve moisture among the producers in his area who used it at seeding time, improving their yield potential in the process. Obviously, you can’t go back in time to change your tillage practices, but that doesn’t mean you can’t carefully weigh the pros and cons for next year. Consider tillage wisely presents the upsides and downsides of both tillage and reduced/zero tillage.
Diamondback moth larvae
Cabbage seedpod weevil
Sclerotinia Stem Rot
Alberta heat impact survey – With unprecedented extreme heat this week and drought conditions continuing to expand in Alberta’s agriculture regions, it is very important for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to gather information from producers, producer groups and the agricultural industry on how the weather is impacting their farms. Please take this five-minute survey (in English or in French) to provide AAFC with information to assist with planning, programs, and policy development.
Call for beta testers to improve sclerotinia risk assessment – The CCC is looking for volunteers to test a new sclerotinia stem rot assessment calculator this growing season. Beta testers are asked to use the tool to assess sclerotinia risk at early flower in a field and then assess the impact at harvest. The CCC is building this tool in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers with plans to launch the public version in 2022. The data collected during this testing period will advance the existing sclerotinia algorithms and provide improved predictions on the expected impact of sclerotinia and fungicide application decision-making for canola farmers in future growing seasons. If you are interested in participating and improving sclerotinia control for the industry, please email your name and location to [email protected].
CanolaCounts.ca – Help us crowdsource plant establishment data! If you don’t have time to enter individual fields into CanolaCounts.ca but still want to participate, contact Autumn Barnes ([email protected]), who can help get bulk data entries included in the Spring 2021 Canola Counts maps.
Do More Ag – 2021 has thrown a lot at all of us. Mother Nature has shared everything from drought, drowning and hail to extreme heat, frost and even a few tornados. Visit www.domore.ag/resources for resources, crisis lines and websites that can help with your mental well-being.
Soil health assessment project – Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are looking for growers to participate in a soil health assessment project. The project, conducted by Kate Congreves and Zelalem Taye, aims to develop a soil health testing protocol and online tool tailored to Saskatchewan’s climate and major soil zones. This summer, they will collect soil samples from volunteer farmer fields across Saskatchewan and record general crop management information for each field. Confidentiality of farmers information is maintained and no reference to specific farms will be made public. Farmers are encouraged to register here to participate in the project. They can also sign up by sending an email to this address: [email protected].
Canola Watch is a free, unbiased, timely and research focused weekly newsletter from the Canola Council of Canada Crop Production Team
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