Equipment

  • Broadcast seeding canola – Tips

    Equipment

    This canola was broadcast onto fairly heavy residue. Source: Justine Cornelsen

    In late springs with wet conditions, broadcast seeding may be the only way to get the job done. In fact, broadcasting may actually provide better seed placement than “mudding in” seed with a drill. Broadcast seeding now could also have higher yield potential than waiting two weeks for the ground to support the drill.

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  • Broadcast seeding canola — Tips

    Equipment

    This canola was broadcast onto fairly heavy residue. Source: Justine Cornelsen

    Broadcast seeding is a last resort, only to be used when proper placement with a drill is not possible. In late springs with wet conditions, for example, broadcast seeding may be the only way to get the job done.

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  • Prep jobs for April

    Equipment

    Seeding small

    Seeding in April is not usually recommended or beneficial for canola (except perhaps late-April seeding in southern Alberta). Here are a few things you could do now….

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  • Bought a used combine? Check it for soil

    Equipment

    Buying used equipment from a clubroot area can create an unexpected transfer of the disease. We heard this week of a grower from northern Alberta who bought a used combine from a known clubroot area. The grower was surprised at how much soil was on and inside the combine, and this soil very likely contained clubroot spores.

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  • Assess seeder performance

    Equipment

    This canola was seeded 2+ inches deep as a result of poor drill settings. Dry soil conditions made the situation worse.

    Did the seeding tool meet expectations this year? A moist soil bed and rain in the days after seeding can make any seeding job look passable. Problems are more obvious when the crop is under stress.

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  • Tips for residue management in spring

    Equipment

    Harrowing April Clint

    Residue management to improve canola seed placement is best done in the fall with a well set combine and, if necessary, with harrowing. Residue issues in spring are more difficult to manage, given that straw tends to be cool and tough. Waiting for sunny and warm conditions will allow straw to break up and spread, improving results from harrowing.

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  • Top 10 things to inspect when prepping the drill

    Equipment

    While growers wait to hit the fields, this is a good time to pull out the drill and give it a good inspection. A large flat concrete pad is ideal for leveling.

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  • Get the drill ready for spring

    Equipment

    How to get the drill ready for spring: Level side to side and front to back, check each opener for wear, check shank trips, inspect all moving parts, inspect electronics, and do a sock test to make sure the air delivery system is not cracking seed.

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  • Residue management starts at the combine

    Equipment

    Spread cereal residue evenly and chop it well to improve seed placement next spring.

    An important factor in canola stand establishment next spring is the crop residue situation this fall. An even mat of cereal residue is preferable to clumpy distribution that can affect drill performance, seed survival and overall crop uniformity next year. Fall is the best time to make sure residue is spread evenly. A properly adjusted combine straw chopper and spreader is key, and may eliminate the need for harrowing or stubble burning.

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  • Residue rescue: Survey results

    Equipment

    High cereal yields last year mean more residue issues this spring. If the drill cannot cut through or dig under the residue to place seed into soil, then some sort of residue management may be the lesser of two evils. We ran a survey the past two weeks asking Canola Watch readers for their thoughts on effective spring management for residue.

    Following are the detailed responses we received. Note that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Canola Council of Canada and may not represent the best management practices….

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  • Top 10 details to record at seeding time

    Equipment

    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.

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  • Fan speed and seed damage

    Equipment

    Some air drills can cause costly levels of seed damage if the fan speed is too high. Cracked seed will not germinate. Inspect the quality of seed in the tank to make sure the loading auger isn’t causing the damage. Next, use the sock test (watch the video above) to check the state of seed as it exits the opener. Remove one or more hoses from their openers and tape a tube sock to the end to collect seed. This will show what damage, if any, may have occurred as seed traveled through the drill. This can be done in the yard ahead of seeding or, to avoid wasting seed on the ground, in the field. Count damaged seeds carefully.

    Even though the yellow split seeds will show up vividly in the sample, they may only represent a small percentage of seed. However if excessive damage has occurred, try a lower fan speed.

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  • Tillage for weed control

    Equipment

    Dry soils will be difficult to penetrate, and tillage will destroy standing stubble and its snow-catching capability. We can’t predict winter weather, but this extra moisture may be valuable next spring. Turning the soil can also cause a heavy flush of weeds from long buried seeds that have lost their dormancy, and burial of weed seeds and shattered canola seed will increase their longevity in the soil.

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  • Harrowing essential after aerial seeding

    Equipment

    After broadcast seeding, including seeding by plane or helicopter, fields must be harrowed to loosen the soil surface and provide seed to soil contact. Canola seed is very light and does not embed into the soil, even if dropped from an airplane at high speed.

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  • Aerial seeding a last resort

    Equipment

    If growers have to seed by plane because the field is too wet for a broadcast floater, that means it’s probably also too wet for weed control, fertilizing and harrowing — each important to a profitable broadcast canola crop.

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