See the full Canola Watch Webinar Series playlist. To watch the March 24 webinar, register here.
Canola Quiz – Canola Digest highlights
The March 2021 issue of Canola Digest is full of good content. These next four questions provide a few quick highlights.
In This Issue
When short supply forces a product swap
Check on supply for all inputs. Farms not able to get products and quantities planned for will need a plan B. This is a good time to review alternatives.
- Fertilizer. If a system is built around specific fertilizer sources, but those sources are not available at quantities that match target rates, does the farm: Cut back and hope supply is available for an in-crop top up? Try a new product? Use VR to cut back rates in zones where the return on investment is lower? 4R practices can increase efficiency. A basic step to improve NUE: Don’t float urea onto snow.
- Herbicide. If partner herbicides are in short supply, does a farm ramp up pre-seed burnoff? Pre-seed burnoff options. Consider the lowest label rate that would still provide effective control. To improve efficacy at those rates, spray earlier to target smaller weeds, apply in conditions favourable for higher efficacy, use high quality water and appropriate water rates.
- Seed. Is this an opportunity to try something new? If possible, try something with a different seed treatment (higher rate, different active ingredient) to compare flea beetle results. (Get the most out of every seed)
Get the tech field-ready
Farms already set up for variable rate applications, mapping and satellite scouting will want to have prescription maps ready, software updates installed, and subscriptions paid to avoid delays when the growing season begins. These tools can also help with on-farm trials. On-farm trials may be particularly useful this year if farms are trying a new product or a fertilizer practice (rate, split application, etc.) because of supply issues. (Quick tips for on-farm trials) (How to use technology to manage yield) (Canola Encyclopedia chapter on precision agriculture)
How much snow melt enters the soil?
Farmers can count on 20-50 per cent of the moisture from snow-melt entering the soil. The rest runs off or evaporates. This variability depends a lot on surface soil moisture conditions. A North Dakota study concluded that 50 per cent of snow-melt moisture runs off or evaporates when surface soils (top 30-40 cm) are dry and up to 80 per cent runs off when surface soils are wet. (Full article.)
Protect herbicides with integrated management
Herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds present a management challenge for many farms. Noteworthy on the long list of HR weeds are Group-9 resistant kochia, which is now common across the Prairies, and Group-9 resistant downy brome, which was detected in southern Alberta in 2021. Many HR weed populations are resistant to more than one herbicide group. Farms relying almost exclusively on herbicides to manage weeds may want to consider a more integrated approach using other tools to take the pressure off herbicides. (Integrated weed management tips)
Grow registered varieties only
Growing registered canola varieties is an important part of assuring our export customers that the oil and meal quality, biotech traits and disease resistance in our canola supply meets their requirements. To mitigate risk, do not seed any de-registered canola varieties and do not deliver seed produced from them to an elevator or grain handler. For more information, including “no-grow” list of canola varieties, please visit the Keep It Clean website.
Seeding prep for the south
Fields are bare in parts of southern Alberta. Here are some articles that may provide useful guidance on when to start seeding canola:
- Soil temperatures and canola seeding
- How early is too early to seed canola? This article has seeding date yield results for southern Alberta based on 1999-2001 dry years.
- Spring frost risk – dates
- Seeding into dry soils
Alberta Canola wetlands study – The organization is looking for wetlands in the Red Deer River basin. If you have a permanent wetland on your property and will offer it for study, please contact Brittany Visscher, research director with Alberta Canola, at [email protected].
Canadian Agricultural Safety Week – March 13-19. Canadian Agriculture Safety Association has details and resources. Follow @planfarmsafety on Twitter for highlights through the week.
lea beetle management webinar – March 16, 11:30-12:30. Manitoba Canola Growers hosts this one hour panel discussion “On The Seed or On The Beetle: What’s Most Effective?” Moderator Angela Brackenreed talks to panelists John Gavloski, Krista Anderson and Justine Cornelsen. Registration
Canola Watch webinar series – Next one is March 24, Noon CST. Topic: Challenging Environmental Conditions – Adapting Canola Nutrient Management to Maximize Potential. Information and registration.
CCGA cash advance program – Commodity advance rates have increased this year, reflecting increased prices for those commodities. For example, the 2022 rate per tonne for canola is $363 (was $252 in 2021) and wheat is $145 (was $111). Advances provide up to $1,000,000 (including $100,000 interest free). Information
Provincial pest surveys – Please support pest surveys, including:
–Prairie Pest Monitoring Network. Sign up for their weekly in-season email.
–Field Heroes. Great resource for beneficial insects and well supported by Western Canadian entomology expertise. Follow them at on Twitter @Fieldheroes.
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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