Canola Digest highlights

October 3, 2012 - Issue 31

The next issue of Canola Digest, the November issue, will feature a number of articles on exports and agronomy, including:

Heavy seed: The regular Diagnostic Dilemmas features a grower who had almost no seedling emergence in his canola field. Crusting and cutworms were factors, but when the agronomist asked about the seeding rate, the grower said he used 5 lb./ac., and then brought out a leftover bag of seed. The thousand seed weight (TSW) printed on the bag was 7.1 grams, which was very high. At 5 lb./ac., the seeding rate amounted to 8.7 seeds per square foot. Seeding only 8.7 seeds per square foot doesn’t leave a margin for error, especially when 50% seedling survival is typical. This seeding rate for this TSW would only be expected to produce about 5 plants per square foot, even without any insects or crusting. Mounting stresses made the situation much worse.

Rotations: The farmer panel talked to growers about other crops in the rotation, and how they benefit canola. Two growers say winter wheat and canola are ideally suited: Seeding winter wheat in the fall means fewer acres to seed in the spring, making it easier to get canola in early. “And the only way winter wheat works is if canola is in the ground early so it can be harvested early. Happily, that’s also the best seeding time for canola in terms of yield potential and profitability,” one grower said. Another grower, who runs a mixed farm, includes alfalfa in the rotation and is experimenting with clover. Manure from the cattle along with nitrogen-fixing alfalfa are like a “fertility gold mine”, he says.

Past issues can be read online.

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