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Tips for fall fertilizer, weed control, bin checks and clubroot plans
Green blues. By October, getting crop off becomes the priority. Green seed is unlikely to turn anymore unless a lot of moisture (snow?) comes, in which case harvest may be delayed until spring.
Cool days, but hot bins. Canola binned hot will retain that heat for weeks and likely months, with the risk of storage losses rising with each passing day.
Good time for weed control, but… You still want to apply herbicides on sunny and warm days for best results.
ProtectioN. Fall banding of nitrogen fertilizer is best done later to retain more of it for next spring.
But soil test first. Late fall soil tests give growers time to process samples and get results and recommendations in plenty of time for winter planning and purchases.
Pathotype shift = mind shift. Plan longer rotations for fields with the different clubroot pathotype.
Photo credit: John Heard, MAFRD
In August and September, growers may want to let canola cure longer hoping for the warm and moist conditions required to clear green from their canola seed. By October, getting the crop off becomes the priority. Green seed is unlikely to turn anymore unless a lot of moisture (snow?) comes, in which case harvest may be delayed until spring. When good harvest days come along, the best option is likely to put canola in the bin.
Canola binned hot will retain that heat for weeks and likely months, with the risk of storage losses rising with each passing day. Growers who binned hot canola in September and August will want to check that the temperature has come down to a safe storage level of below 15°C. Putting hot canola on air or turning it on a cool day is essential. Ideally, this is done soon after binning, but now may be soon enough to arrest the heating process.
Lower temperatures and shortened days in the fall trigger perennials such as Canada thistle, dandelion and quack grass to start moving sugars to below-ground tissues. Winter annuals and biennials are also doing this, but they don’t need a cool temperature trigger. Spraying these weeds in fall takes advantage of this downward flow, providing better control for next year. Read more for tips…
The key strategy of fall fertilization is to store nitrogen over the winter in the ammonium form – which is held on clay and organic matter – and is referred to as stabilized N. Urea and anhydrous ammonia are both considered ammonium based fertilizers. When the ammonium form N is converted to nitrate by soil microbes, […]
Take fall samples when soil temperatures drop below 10°C, or cooler. Because microbial processes in the soil slow down as temperatures cool, sampling late in the fall will provide a close representation of nutrient levels at seeding next spring. The cooler the better when sampling, but you want to make sure you can still get the probe down 24”. Submit samples for 0-6” and 6-24”.
Discovery of a different clubroot pathotype in central Alberta will change the rotation plans for some growers. No current varieties have resistance to this different pathotype, and varieties with a new effective source of resistance will not be available for at least the next year or two, or maybe longer. Longer rotation is necessary to slow the pathogen shift that is occurring in these fields.
Soils with pH below 5.5 or above 8.5 can reduce canola yield potential, largely due to reduced nutrient availability. Amending soil with products such as lime to increase pH or elemental sulphur to lower pH can work, but it takes large volumes and a large investment.
Let us help you get the most relevant info by telling us where you're from and what you do.
- Fall fertilizer: October better than September
- Weeds: Wait for post-harvest regrowth
- Straight combining canola — success factors
- Set the combine to reduce losses
- Residue management starts at the combine
- BLOG: Canola bin watch
- UCC 2014: All sites progress report
- UCC 2014: Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
- Cool days + hot canola = bad combo
- Companies that buy high-green canola
If you have general questions about the Canola Watch Email Newsletter, direct them to Jay Whetter.
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