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  • Top dress: How to identify nutrient deficiency

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    In-crop fertilizer applications can rescue a deficiency situation. But what nutrients are deficient? Look for these symptoms.

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  • How much fertilizer does canola need?

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    Canola generally needs nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur fertilizer each year. A small percentage of fields will also benefit from a potassium application. The following article suggests what canola needs and what soil and crop residue could provide. The rest will come from fertilizer.

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  • Conversations from canoLAB at FarmTech

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    The Canola Council of Canada agronomy team held a mini canoLAB at the Alberta Canola booth during FarmTech in Edmonton last week. Three common conversation topics came up as farmers and agronomists visited the booth….

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  • Fertilizer applications in November

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    The combination of warm weather and moist soils is almost ideal for losses. Growers may want to reassess the nutrient situation with a time-of-seeding soil test, then top-dress if amounts are less than expected.

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  • Fall soil sampling and snow

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    Snow in October is not usually a major problem for fall soil tests. Temperatures often improve before winter sets in for good, so sampling opportunities usually present themselves.

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  • When you see something new

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    Mystery symptoms 2016. Credit: Warren Ward

    Before spending money on a treatment, growers will need to identify the cause. The Canola Diagnostic Tool can help you work through the possibilities. A few localized tests can also help with the diagnosis….

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  • Novel products: Run your own tests

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    Rescue treatments for hail, excess moisture and other stress factors are rarely tested in broad scientific studies. Growers considering these treatments have to remember the decision comes down to “buyer beware”.

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  • Fertilizer rate in dry conditions

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    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

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  • Spring soil tests

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    Spring soil tests are the most accurate in predicting the soil nutrient situation at seeding time. Labs may be able to provide results within a few days or a week, so spring tests can be done without holding up the seeding process.

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  • Ultimate Canola Challenge: 2015 results, 2016 plan

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    The UCC website has protocols and objectives for 2016 and results from 2015.

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  • Cover crops: Benefits, challenges and tips

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    Here are a few examples of cover crop combinations.

    Cover crops provide ground cover to avoid leaving fields bare. They provide weed competition, take up excess moisture, tie up nutrients at or near the soil surface so they’re not lost, and improve salinity. Nitrogen-fixing cover crops can increase soil nitrogen levels. Grassy cover crops act as “green manure”. All cover crops can reduce wind and water erosion of soil.

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  • Ultimate Canola Challenge 2016 — Growers wanted!

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    Growers who want to run an Ultimate Canola Challenge trial in 2016 can contact CCC agronomy specialist Nicole Philp at philpn@canolacouncil.org or 306-551-4597. This collaboration gives growers a chance to learn first-hand how to run an effective on-farm trial.

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  • The right time for fall soil tests

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    Soil sampling is good practice in the fall — whether crop was better or worse than you thought. Why fall? Growers often have more time in the fall than in the spring. And with results and recommendations in hand before winter, growers can use the winter months to plan their fertilizer programs for next year, to order fertilizer, and to take advantage of reduced pricing opportunities that may occur.

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  • Does soil health really matter? YES

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    The CCC agronomy team asked Mario Tenuta, the University of Manitoba’s Canada research chair in applied soil ecology, if preserving soil health really matters, or can soil degradation be corrected simply by adding more fertilizer.

    His answer:

    “If growers ignore soil health, input costs will go up. Increased inputs can compensate and keep up with soil degradation for quite a while — perhaps several decades. But the cost of compensation will continue to rise over that period, and soil degradation will reach a point where yield can’t keep up no matter how many inputs are added….

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  • Does continuous canola create a canola-friendly microbial environment? NO

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    Look out for clubroot patches in 2014 — even if the field is seeded to a resistant variety.

    The CCC agronomy team asked Mario Tenuta, the University of Manitoba’s Canada research chair in applied soil ecology, if continuous canola can actually create a canola-friendly soil environment.

    His answer:

    “There are several examples where continuous cropping of other crops have created a soil microbial population that can keep down soil-borne diseases. Can the same happen with canola? Likely. However, this benefit cannot compensate for the significant yield loss associated with continuous cropping….

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