August 24 2011 – Issue 21

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  • Issues of the week

    High temperatures (as high as mid 30’s in some areas) are occurring across the Prairies as swathing timing nears. Swathing under such hot conditions can result in rapid dry down (moisture loss) but longer curing (time for green seeds to clear chlorophyll). Swath as close to 60% seed colour change (SCC) as is practical under these hot conditions and do not swath during the heat of the day.

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  • Crop and weather update

    Peace: Warm temperatures last week and over the weekend were welcomed for crop development. The crop is progressing well but still about 10 days behind. Some fields are at late pod with some early swathing started. Swathing will become more general in about 10 days to two weeks. There is a fair amount of the canola acreage that will not be cut until September 15 or later.

    Alberta: Warm weather over the past week was needed for crop development. Crops in the south that

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  • Don’t be tempted to swath early

    Swathing early before the recommended 50 to 60% seed colour change in the high temperatures occurring lately will not necessarily mean earlier combining. Under hot, dry conditions crop dry down can occur quickly (drop below 10% moisture) but not crop curing (seed maturation and removal of chlorophyll). Fields that are swathed early (e.g. 20 or 30% seed colour change) and/or swathed during the heat of the day will not cure as quickly as dry down occurs. Curing may take as long as

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  • Insect update

    Lygus populations continue to be high and exceed thresholds in parts of Alberta and Manitoba (around Morris and Altona). Once pods become leathery (role of thumb is about two weeks before swathing), then even adult lygus cannot cause damage and control is not economical. Economic control thresholds for lygus bugs are based on adult and late instar counts. When canola prices are $12 per bushel and application costs are $12 per acre, the threshold is

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  • Disease update

    So far relatively low levels of sclerotinia infection are being reported in most areas. Blackleg is appearing in eastern Manitoba and southern Alberta.

    Scouting and identifying disease(s) present can be a valuable tool for assessing this year’s production practices and preparing for next years. Here’s what to look for

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  • Swathing tips

    Scout fields individually and often. Determine swath timing by breaking open pods and assessing the level of seed colour change. Scouting based on field colour change is not a good indication of seed maturity. Maturity can change quickly and it may help to open up the field with a swath cut around the perimeter to grasp where the field is at. Scout fields individually since

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  • Using a swath roller takes skill

    Swathing widths have increased in recent years to 30 feet and beyond. A heavy crop cut at thirty feet or more needs only gentle downward pressure on the middle of the swath to be anchored properly. Air movement within the swath is important during curing and dry down.

    The swath roller should lightly tuck edges. Being too aggressive with the swath roller may cause shattering of the more mature plants. The roller should

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  • When to swath hailed crops

    A number of hail storms in Alberta earlier in the season have resulted in regrowth at the top of the plant. This regrowth is now considerably late and it is questionable whether that portion of the plant can contribute to yield before frost. Growers with such crops are encouraged to concentrate on the growth and […]

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  • Do’s and don’ts of desiccation

    Fields with variable stages need to be scouted carefully to determine which stage will contribute most to overall yield. If later stages represent a significant portion of the plant population, then killing the crop before they are mature (through either swathing or a chemical application) will mean sacrificing a significant portion of the yield potential of the field, in addition to possible downgrading from increased levels of green or damaged seed.

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  • Deciding to straight combine?

    Practice leads to perfect. Growers who successfully straight combine say that experience leads to success. If straight combining for the first time in 2011, be sure to start on a small number of acres. This will allow for some experimentation to determine how to make it work with an individual’s equipment.

    Choose suitable fields. Fields that make good candidates for straight cutting are

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  • Determining green seed levels

    With uneven maturity and later canola crops, this will be another year to watch green counts. Here are some tips to follow when testing for green seed:

    Rather than start up the combine to take a sample, insert a scoop shovel underneath the swath and use your hands to thresh pods near ground level into the shovel. These plants will

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  • Combining in high temperatures

    Combining has begun in some areas and high temperatures are predicted across the west in the coming days. It is important to remember that canola storage can be a concern even at seed moisture levels considered dry when the canola is binned at high temperatures. The high temperatures can make canola volatile for the first […]

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  • Keep malathion out of canola bins

    Malathion CANNOT be used to treat bins where canola will be stored or to treat canola as it goes into storage. These applications can result in residues in the canola that are unacceptable in some of Canada’s key export countries with low minimum residue limits (MRLs) or zero tolerance for malathion. If a bin was […]

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