September 17, 2014 – Issue 24

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  • Four the week

    Photo credit: Gregory Sekulic

    Green lock. Did heavy frost lock in a high green count? It happens, and extra curing time will do little to help.

    Harvest loss. An article in the September Canola Digest has inspired growers to pay closer attention to combine losses. Hey, better in the bin than on the ground.

    Seed log. Make note of this year’s harvestability, disease levels and yield to help choose the right seed for 2015. The decision process often starts — and sometimes ends — at the combine.

    Storage lore. Stored canola cooking into a heated mass might sound like the stuff of legend, but it can happen. Green seeds, weed seeds, dockage, hot harvest temperatures and moisture all increase the risk.


  • September 17 Quiz

    Canola performance trials screenshot

    This week’s quiz focuses on variety comparison data from the Canola Performance Trials.


  • Map of the week

    Source: WeatherFarm

    This maps shows the highs for Tuesday, September 16. Click here to see the original on the WeatherFarm site. With temperatures into the mid to high 20s for the Western Prairies, some canola could go into the bin hot. This may be hard to believe, given that many of these same areas had a big dump of snow last week, but it’s true.


  • High green: Will it clear?

    Green seed cropped

    Frost stops the chlorophyll-clearing process in canola seed — usually permanently. High green counts are likely in fields that were not fully mature when the heavy frost hit last week.


  • Swath or straight combine frosted canola?

    Within a day after the frost, pedicels — the small stems attaching pods to stems — are drying out and snapping. These pods will start dropping, which is another reason to swath right away.

    This has been a common question after last week’s heavy frost. Growers wonder whether frost-damaged canola should be swathed or left standing for straight combining.

    By now, any pod splitting or pod drop due to tissue damage from the heavy frost has probably happened. This usually starts within a day of the frost event. If the crop is still sound, you can probably stick with original plan — whether that was to straight combine or swath. Note that if you plan to swath, an extra few days standing in these good conditions will probably help fill seeds and increase overall plant maturity, as long as those plants are still alive. If the frost has killed them, then waiting to swath probably won’t help.


  • Flattened by snow

    Photo credit: Garth Donald

    Canola fields flattened by snow last week are unlikely to spring back. If they’re still flat, they’ll be staying flat. There is no easy way to harvest this crop, but these tips may help….


  • How much are you throwing over?

    combine canola smalll

    Growers are showing new energy in harvest loss management this week, sparked in large part by Angela Brackenreed’s excellent cover article in the September 2014 issue of Canola Digest. Read it here.


  • Variety decisions for 2015

    Canola seed blue

    Canola Performance Trials for this year are still being measured and harvested, but growers wanting to make seed decisions now can go to Small and large plot results for 2013, 2012 and 2011 are available.


  • Dockage and green elevate storage risk

    Storage and spoilage graph

    Know the quality of the canola going in the bin. Green seeds, weed seeds and dockage increase the risk. Even high quality canola can be at risk if stored hot (temperatures are coming back up so don’t let the snow fool you) or at moisture above 8%. Here are the details…


  • Pre-harvest intervals closing

    PHI insecticides

    Insect threats are minimal at this stage of the season, but if you have late fields and an insect hot spot — say for bertha armyworm — the options are limited.


  • Foxtail barley and fall weed control

    Foxtail barley

    Foxtail barley is one weed that seems to be on the rise. Foxtail barley is best controlled in the fall, using glyphosate to manage perennial bunches and late germinating seedlings. Be aggressive with fall glyphosate rates. Tillage also works well on foxtail barley, but if you have to use tillage, spot till the patches only.


  • Clubroot survey underway

    Alberta has started an intense survey to check fields for clubroot pathotype 5x, which is able to overcome all forms of resistance on the market today. The survey will focus on suspicious patches in fields that were grown to an R-rated canola variety. Growers and agronomist who spot suspicious patches in a resistant variety, can contact their County Ag Fieldman to be part of the survey. The point is to map the extent of this new pathotype.

    Further reading:
    Clubroot pathogen shift: Management


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