August 22, 2012 – Issue 26

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  • Issues of the week

    Canola yield tends to be higher when swathing occurs at 50-60% seed colour change on the main stem — or later if significant shattering can be avoided — so growers can give uneven fields extra time for pods on later plants to mature. Straight combining is another option, but it works best on crops that […]

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  • Photo quiz of the week

    What disease caused these symptoms?

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  • Canola can yield better when swathed later

    Delaying swathing while you wait for more plants to mature is generally positive for yield, unless soil moisture is inadequate to fill green seeds, or unless a season ending frost or snow could happen at any day.

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  • Swathing timing for hailed out crops

    Swath at the best time for the majority of the plants in the field with the least negative impact possible on the rest — the biggest yield with the least losses. Note that waiting, if the calendar allows, is often positive for yield. If late season hail damages pods, then these pods have a higher potential for shattering as they dry. Swathing early to save these pods may not be worthwhile if these pods represent only a small percentage of the yield potential of the crop.

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  • Straight combining tips

    Growers straight combining canola for the first time may want to consider these tips: —Practice on a couple fields. —Choose fields that are well knitted to prevent whipping and shattering in the wind. —Be prepared to harvest as soon as green seed and seed moisture drop to acceptable levels, even if stalks are still green. And more…

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  • Storage risk: Is your canola high in oil?

    The higher the oil content of canola, the lower the moisture content required for safe long-term storage. Some research suggests that if canola at 40% oil can be stored safely at 8.5% moisture, then canola at 45% oil should be stored at 8% moisture. Growers can get an oil reading when they send sample to the CGC harvest samples program.

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  • Pre-harvest scouting for disease

    Pre-harvest is a good time to scout for disease severity. Fields with lots of diseased plants may also be poorer candidates for straight cutting due to the increased shattering risk. Read more for tips on how to identify blackleg, sclerotinia and alternaria.

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  • Harvest tips for diseased crop

    If infection rates are high, determine where most of the yield is. If it’s in the healthy plants, then make harvest decisions based on what’s best for the healthy plants. That means swathing at 50% to 60% seed colour change for ideal yield and quality. If most of the yield is in the infected plants, then earlier swathing — at 30% to 40% seed colour change — may be more appropriate.

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  • Aster yellows and healthy looking plants

    Late or mild infections of aster yellows could lead to poor seed set in normal-looking pods. Stress from aster yellows can also sometimes lead to purpling or may aggravate sunscald.

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  • Pre-harvest glyphosate needs time to work

    Glyphosate is registered for pre-harvest perennial weed control in canola. Glyphosate is to be applied when the majority of seeds are yellow to brown in colour and seed moisture is less than 30%. If desiccation for direct harvesting is the primary goal then a true desiccant — Reglone — may be a better option.

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