The impact of a frost on the canola crop is not likely to impact a field the same way twice. There are just too many variables at play — the temperature of the frost, the duration, the topography of the field, the growth stage of the plant, the soil moisture, trash cover and, perhaps most importantly, the growing conditions leading up to the frost. So, when it comes to evaluating damage and deciding on a course of action, what’s a farmer to do?
Well, you could try going fishing. What?
The full impact of a frost takes more than two or three days to fully manifest, and you may not be able to make an informed call on the severity of the damage until four to six days out from the event. So while it’s a wee bit tongue-in-cheek, going fishing before you make a decision is likely a good call.
And, if in this growing season frost does befall your canola crops, this episode of the Canola School walks you through what you’re looking for, and Keith Gabert, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada for central Alberta south, discusses the factors that may increase or decrease frost damage and when it’s time to pull the trigger and re-seed.
Canola School videos are produced by Real Agriculture.