April 27, 2016 – Issue 6

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  • Spring frost risk and seeding date

    Average last day for a 0°C frost in Saskatchewan. CLICK TO ENLARGE

    Seeding date decisions are often driven more by historical frost risk than present conditions. That is why many growers will not seed canola before May 1, even if their area had what seemed like favourable seeding conditions in April. Historical frost risk can be interpreted differently based on the crop’s frost tolerance and the grower’s appetite for risk.


  • Frost quiz – April 26, 2016

    These seedlings suffered severe frost damage, but it looks like one late-emerging survivor is poking through. A couple of these per square foot could be enough to produce a good crop. Credit: Deanna McLennan

    Test your frost probabilities knowledge with these 3 quick questions.


  • PODCAST: Spring frost risk and seeding date

    Ralph Wright, who leads the agro-meteorology division with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, joins Canola Council of Canada agronomy specialist Autumn Barnes and host Jay Whetter in a discussion about frost risk and canola seeding dates. While the discussion focuses on Southern Alberta, growers and agronomists in all regions will learn from the discussion about frost […]


  • Pros and cons of early seeding

    If you have perfect seeding conditions in late April, should you seed canola? Early seeding usually improves canola yield potential and quality, but these benefits depend on survival of a sufficient plant population — ideally 7 to 10 plants per square foot, and a minimum of 4 to 5. An early-seeded crop that is thin […]


  • Use this time to control weeds

    Winter annual stinkweed growing strong in late April. Source: Angela Brackenreed

    If perennials, winter annuals and early emerging weeds — like this stinkweed — are growing, there is no benefit to waiting for later emerging weeds such as lamb’s quarters or redroot pigweed to show up. Weeds present now will have a greater impact on yield than weeds that emerge with or after the crop.


  • Seeding in dry conditions

    In dry soil conditions, growers may be tempted to seed deep enough to reach moisture. This is not necessary from April to mid-May. The common recommendation to seed no deeper than 1” still applies in dry conditions. Here’s why….


  • Fertilizer rate in dry conditions

    Growers with dry soil conditions may be tempted to reduce fertilizer rates. After all, if crops do not reach yield potential, reducing the cash outlay at seeding may mean that a lower-yielding crop could still be profitable. However, when it comes to canola in particular, fertilizing for average or target yields in spring is often the most economic practice — especially since seasonal moisture is so difficult to predict.

    Fertilizer P going into drill


  • Clean used equipment from clubroot areas

    Soil is more likely to cling to wheels, openers and frames when conditions are wet.

    Make sure soil is cleaned off any used equipment recently purchased from areas known to have clubroot. This is good biosecurity practice. Ideally, this should be done at the purchase location before bringing it home.


  • Residue management in the spring

    Tillage can make dry soil conditions even worse.

    Tillage and harrowing in the spring can further dry out the seedbed. It does not conserve moisture.


  • Seeding into forage land

    Transitioning land from perennial forages to annual crops is best done with herbicide applications the fall before. Brome and fescue can be hard to kill, and growers will be fighting these plants all season if they weren’t first sprayed last fall


Canola Watch