April 3, 2014 – Issue 4

Sub Categories

  • No categories
  • Topics for the month

    Source: John Heard, MAFRD

    EcoNomics. Handy graphs and calculators show the best nitrogen rate based on yield potential and appetite for risk. Is this the year to claw back or keep the pedal down with regard to N rates?

    Ignorance is not bliss — especially when it comes to clubroot. Early detection and adoption of resistant varieties, rotation and equipment sanitation can keep the economic cost of clubroot low and the R-trait effective for years on a given farm.

    Top 10. Put your recordkeeping app to work this seeding season, and follow this checklist for your best notes ever!

    Spring checkin’. Time to check canola bins. As outside temperatures warm up, moisture starts moving around inside bins again. Canola in storage is vulnerable again.


  • Nitrogen economics: Offside at the blue line

    Source: John Heard, MAFRD

    This figure show the yield response of hybrid canola to applied and soil nitrogen. The blue line is what matters when assessing the return on investment and your risk assessment with regard to nitrogen. Here’s how to read the figure…


  • Hold back the economic clap from clubroot

    This is a clubroot infested field, with a resistant variety grown on the left and a susceptible variety grown on the right. Source: Aaron Van Beers

    Clubroot lowers the bottom line for more and more Western Canada canola growers each year. The disease has been advancing through Alberta at a fairly steady 20 to 25 km per year, and has been detected at low levels in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. All Prairie fields are at risk of economic loss from clubroot, with the highest risk fields those that are (1) in known clubroot areas and (2) whose owners are currently doing very little, if anything, to prevent or manage the disease.


  • Top 10 details to record at seeding time

    Seeding into warmer soils speeds up emergence and makes it more uniform. However, the yield benefits of seeding early May versus late May (most years) are too important to ignore..

    1. Date. Record the date and also the time of day that each crop was seeded. Comparing seeding dates, and cross referencing that with soil temperature and moisture conditions, can help determine future decisions with regard to ideal time of seeding and management steps that could be taken to reduce risks for early seeding. Time of day could be useful when comparing fields seeded the same day.

    2. Soil temperature and moisture in the seedbed. Measure the soil temperature in the seed zone. Also note the 7- to 10-day temperature forecast and update your records with actual temperatures through that period. Soil temperatures in the days after seeding have a significant influence on the days to emergence and the uniformity of emergence. (See the graph above that shows emergence rate as it relates to soil temperature.) Recording soil temperature can help when sleuthing potential emergence issues, and can be a useful reference if emergence is very strong. Also note seedbed soil moisture — dry, moist or wet — on seeding day.


  • Put bin checks on your spring to-do list

    As outside air warms up, moisture migration cycles in the bin can concentrate warm moist air, creating a potential start point for spoilage.

    Canola may be stored longer than usual and in bigger quantities this year. As outside temperatures warm up, it becomes important to check bins again to make sure canola inside safely makes the transition from winter to spring and summer. Movement of air and moisture inside bins is greatest when the temperature difference between inside and outside is greatest. Increased air movement inside bins moves moisture to concentrated areas, and increases the spoilage risk. (See the diagram.)


  • Snap seed decisions

    Canola performance trials screenshot

    Need to make a last minute seed decision? Visit www.canolaperformancetrials.ca for canola variety comparisons for 2013 as well as 2012 and 2011. The online tool has data on yield, days to maturity, lodging and height for small plot and field scale sites across the Prairies. Use the various filters to refine a search by location, herbicide tolerance system, year and season zone.

    Click here for the 2013 results booklet.


Canola Watch