Sept. 14, 2011 – Issue 24

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  • Issues of the week

    Frost hit many parts of the Prairies last night and earlier this week. The big questions for growers are: How soon after a frost should I swath? Or if I was lucky enough to miss this frost, do I go ahead and swath canola now to avoid the risk of the next one? The answer […]

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  • Crop and weather report

    Peace (B.C. and Alberta): Swathing is nearly complete in the north and at around 50% complete, on average, for the rest of the territory. Rain has slowed progress the past couple days. Frost has been light so far, except for -5 C around Beaverlodge on Sunday night and about the same in the north on […]

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  • After frost: Start monitoring 4-6 hours after frost ends

    If you check too early after a frost, the full extent of frost damage may not be evident. The crop may look undamaged that morning but by lunch time, wilting, desiccation and pod splitting may begin. If you scout early and then not again, you may underestimate the damage and miss a chance to swath now to save some of the yield.

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  • Before frost: Leave immature canola standing

    If the forecast is for frost tonight, growers will not see much benefit to swathing today if canola is still green. With a light frost, crop left standing will still have a chance to mature further. A heavy frost will lock in high green counts unless the crop has adequate dry down time to achieve a seed moisture of 20% or less.

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  • Fall weed control: Use products that won’t damage canola in 2012

    Growers in Manitoba and southeast Saskatchewan in particular have some very weedy fields after a wet June kept them off the fields for timely herbicide application. The weed photos below were taken this week on a farm in western Manitoba. Growers will want to consider post-harvest herbicide to clean up fields that are planned for canola in 2012. Here are the steps.

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  • Seed may be mature but not brown

    This time of year, mature canola seeds can take a long time to turn brown or black. Growers wondering why seed color change is taking so long may want to check the fields again and look for these other signs of maturity: All seeds are firm to roll. White/yellow banding. No skin peeling.

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  • How much green will you have?

    Many canola fields that were swathed too early or during hot weather or both will have dried down without sufficient enzyme breakdown of seed chlorophyll, resulting in a high green count. Fields that are dry (less than 10% moisture) and still have 5% green are unlikely to see that green count drop much, unless canola seed moisture rises back up above 20% to allow green-clearing enzymes to restart.

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  • Canola stored hot can spoil fast

    Canola harvested hot last week should be on aeration to cool it down. In one case, canola that went into the bin at 35 C and 6% moisture had climbed to 39 C and was starting to smell within a week. Dry canola is not safe if binned hot.

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  • Canadian growers can get certified to sell canola to EU

    The European Union (EU) has implemented the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) which sets out a 10% mandate for biofuels. The RED requires that all feedstock used to produce biodiesel for the EU market must meet minimum sustainability criteria and be certified as sustainable. All canola exported for the RED market must have a certificate of sustainability attached, and all growers who choose to supply canola for this market must also be certified.

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