Fertility

  • Timing and depth for fall fertilizer

    Fertility

    Fall fertilizer is best applied as close to freeze up as possible to balance two objectives: (1) allow soil to seal over the band and (2) reduce losses due to high microbial activity in warm soils.

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  • When you see something new

    Fertility

    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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  • Top 10: Highlights from June 21 canolaPALOOZA

    Fertility

    Sweep netting begins for lygus and cabbage seedpod weevil.

    By this stage of the season, flea beetle and cutworm risks are lower because crops are bigger and these two insects are in natural seasonal decline. Adult flea beetles have laid their eggs and are dying. Cutworms are pupating. We’re now moving toward sweep net timing for lygus and cabbage seedpod weevil.

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  • 7 causes for missing pods

    Fertility

    Missing pods due to heat blast on flowers. Photo credit: Keith Gabert

    Heat, drought, off-label herbicide applications, male sterility, insects, sulphur deficiency, boron deficiency.

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  • Novel products: Run your own tests

    Fertility

    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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  • Keep up to speed with the UCC

    Fertility

    Nitrogen is the theme for 2016. Follow along the UCC journey on Twitter with the #CanolaUCC hashtag and on Instagram at ultimate_canola_challenge.

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  • Fertilizer rate in dry conditions

    Fertility

    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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  • Need to know: Phosphorus (P)

    Fertility

    Canola removes more phosphate than other crops, and studies show that phosphate fertilizer rates have lagged crop removal for years. The result, says soil fertility expert Ross McKenzie, is that about 80% of Prairie fields are deficient in phosphorus.

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  • Need to know: Sulphur (S)

    Fertility

    Sulphur deficiency stem leaf cupping

    Growers understand the need for S in canola, but more frequent production of canola and higher yields have been drawing down soil levels. Soil fertility expert Ross McKenzie estimates that at least 40% of soils across Western Canada are S deficient.

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  • Need to know: Potassium (K)

    Fertility

    Yellowing at leaf margins is typical of potassium deficiency.

    Sandier soils with low clay levels are more likely to be at or near deficiency levels. Ross McKenzie estimates that about 20 to 25% of Prairie soils are K deficient, and overall soil K levels are in a slow decline.

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  • Spring soil tests

    Fertility

    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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  • Boron — Understanding the soil test

    Fertility

    Figure 5. Relative yield of canola in relation to HW boron levels in the 0-15 cm depth at 18 sites from the preliminary survey-type research and 19 research sites carried out across Western Canada.

    One challenge with boron is the hot water extraction (HW) soil test commonly used to test boron levels does not seem to be a reliable indicator of available boron. A 1999 study by Rigas Karamanos showed no relation between HW boron levels and canola yield, as the graph shows. Yet soil analysis continues to use the HW test for boron.

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  • Still time to take soil samples

    Fertility

    The ground is not frozen yet, which means growers and agronomists still have an opportunity to take fall soil samples. This is one of the best times to sample because…

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  • Use good data to evaluate products

    Fertility

    Decisions on what variety, nutrient or crop input product to buy are improved with good data. When looking for data, here are a few clues as to the quality of the data set…

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  • The right time for fall soil tests

    Fertility

    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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