Sept. 8, 2011 – Issue 23

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  • Issues of the week

    Warm days forecast for the coming week will give later canola crops a good chance to ripen further before swathing. If growers have a lot of canola to swath and feel they must swath something, go with the most mature crop first. On hot days, swath in the evening to give plants time to dry […]

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  • Crop and weather update

    Peace (B.C. and Alberta): Swathing is nearly complete in the north and just starting in the southwest. All other regions are somewhere in between. High temperatures are forecast for the coming week, which will give late crops valuable time to ripen further before swathing. Alberta: Swathing will be close to finished in south and east […]

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  • Fast drydown locks in green

    Some elevators are reporting higher green seed counts. Swathing too early and swathing in hot and windy conditions are contributing factors in many cases. Cutting canola in hot conditions leads to rapid dry down and desiccation, which doesn’t give chlorophyll time to clear from immature seed. Waiting until less mature seed is at least firm to roll between thumb and forefinger will help minimize yield reductions from early swathing, but significant curing will still need to take place in the swath to remove green seed.

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  • What a few warm days can do

    Growers who want to swath green canola today may gain quite a bit by waiting 2 or 3 days, as long as the forecast suggests a low risk of frost.

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  • Cool those bins of hot canola

    Canola harvested during this week’s hot weather has to go on aeration to cool it off — even if the seed moisture levels are “dry.” Canola at 10% moisture is at risk of spoilage when put in the bin at 20 C. At temperatures of 25 to 30 C, the spoilage risk is that much greater. Even at 8% moisture, canola is at risk if not cooled down immediately after storage.

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  • When to swath multi-stage crops

    If half the field is just beginning seed color change, growers may want to hold off on swathing. By waiting 3 or 4 days, there is minimal risk of frost damage for riper parts of the field and a huge potential benefit for later parts if frost doesn’t occur.

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  • When to swath after frost

    While forecast daytime highs are warm for the next few days, some areas may experience light frosts. If frosts do not dip below -2 C, damage is likely to be minor and swathing prematurely may do more harm than good. However, it is important to get out there and check crops to ensure damage is not greater than expected.

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  • If pods are brittle, straight combining may be best

    In a situation where a field has matured more rapidly than expected and the majority of plants are beyond 80% seed color change, growers may be better off leaving the crop for straight combining. Swathing may result in costly losses.

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  • Insect update

    Bertha armyworm is at threshold levels in a few late fields in central Peace and western Saskatchewan regions. Lygus bug feeding continues in parts of Saskatchewan and around Dauphin, Manitoba.

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Canola Watch