Canola Watch – June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021
Hula hoops can be used for scouting plant establishment.

Canola Quiz – Flea beetles

Five questions on flea beetles – including their characteristics and management steps. See how you compare to your peers and get detailed agronomy information in the answers.

Take the Quiz

In This Issue

Canola counting steps
The new tool was built in part to encourage canola growers to scout for plant establishment. A good understanding of plant establishment will help support key management decisions. Here are the steps to using 1. Pick five representative, unique spots throughout the field (some ways to do this can be found in the video above). 2. Be sure only to count plants at the two-to-four leaf or later stage and always avoid counting volunteers. 3. Enter your plant densities and calculate emergence at More information on how to use the tool is available in this video. More information about the Canola Counts program is available in this podcast.

Action threshold best bet for spraying flea beetles
Accurately assessing defoliation from flea beetle feeding isn’t easy. Photo image analysis is not yet reliable but might be available in the future. You still need an objective opinion of the percentage of defoliation, but be careful. Canola leaves with, say, 10 per cent defoliation can look terrible in your field but that doesn’t mean it’s time to spray. The rule of thumb for spraying flea beetles is to use the 25 per cent defoliation action threshold as a guideline. Check out this story for more information. This video presents key information on flea beetle thresholds. View the research guiding these recommended practices in this recent Canola Research Hub blog.

For best weed control, spray early
If your canola crop is in the one-to-four leaf growth stage, there’s no time like the present to get out and spray — and the earlier the better. Early weed control benefits plant establishment and preserves yield potential through reduced competition for nutrients and moisture. Weeds that emerge before or at the same time as the crop will cause the most significant yield loss if they are not controlled. Consult the Canola Encyclopedia entry on weed management for recommendations pertaining to the various stages of chemical weed control, including early in-crop spraying. This story explores the economics of early weed control. You can also check out this podcast for timely spraying tips.

Helpful links for scouting practices
Here are some links to tips for a number of crop factors canola growers should be scouting for:

Missing plants — what’s the cause? points out a number of culprits behind missing plants, including lack of seedbed moisture, excess moisture, and fertilizer toxicity.

Cutworms. Timely scouting and spray decisions.

Seedling diseases. Scouting for seedling diseases (video). Look for seedling diseases and other emergence issues.

Canola Encyclopedia seed treatment entry. This entry outlines best practices for seed treatment. This includes the need for scouting, which is still required for treated seed.

Scout Checklist


Flea beetles


Missing Plants

Diamondback moth larvae

Emergence percentage

Plant stand uniformity within a field

  • How to Scout? Human eye, canopeo, NDVI imagery.

Row closure

  • How to Scout? Human eye, canopeo, NDVI imagery.

Seedling diseases

Root rots


Community Connect

Send in your flea beetle damage pics – Justin Pahara, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientist at Lethbridge, would appreciate flea beetle damage scouting photos to help test their ability to accurately analyze images for defoliation. “With the help of producers, our team at AAFC hope that the wide variety of canola leaf images from different geographic regions with different image backgrounds (tilled soil vs. no-till) in wet and dry conditions, on sunny and cloudy days etc will be a good start to creating an artificial intelligence-based software tool that makes objective crop damage assessments possible and simple,” says Pahara. Please send your flea beetle scouting photos to [email protected] if you can assist in this citizen science effort. When you email photos in, please use the email subject “Canola damage pics.”

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: z[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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Upcoming Events

Grower Engagement Meeting - Lethbridge

Alberta Canola is hosting four Grower Engagement Meetings across Alberta during November & December 2021.
Nov 17
Lethbridge, Alberta

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Alberta Canola is hosting four Grower Engagement Meetings across Alberta during November & December 2021.
Nov 23
Nisku, Alberta

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AgEx is the only event in Canada dedicated exclusively to bringing farm management enthusiasts together to build their business acumen. This year’s theme, The Challenge of Change, is about acknowledging that change...
Nov 24 - Nov 26
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