Archive for the ‘Canola Council of Canada’ Category

Canola School: When Should I Swath My Canola

September 5, 2009

This year, perhaps more than ever, swath timing is critical for all varieties of canola. With the cold soil temperatures and dry spring and summer, there are many canola fields in Alberta and across Western Canada that are in a variety of stages and maturing at different times. Multistaged canola can make it difficult to determine an appropriate swathing time, but Doug Moisey from the Canola Council had some tips at a recent Canola Harvest Management meeting, just south of Vermilion.

Doug says the best approach to timing your swathing is to be very thorough in checking the field. This may mean checking every 2 or 3 days (when temperatures are hot as they have been, canola can change 10-20% in a day) and looking at multiple areas in the field. When you drive up, stand on the quad or in the box of the truck and try to get a feel for the field. Hills and knolls will mature more quickly than coulees and lower lying areas. From here, determine how many “maturity zones” you have. These are areas that are at different maturities – the hills may be at 20% seed colour change whereas the valleys may be just finished flowering. Try to pick plants from each area to look at.

When picking a plant, select randomly and look at a few plants in each area. Canola matures from the bottom up, so plant colour and what you can see from the road are not good indicators. Remember when it is hot and sunny that canola can “tan” or “sunburn” resulting in that purple-red-brown you may see on the tops of pods. This does not necessarily indicate seed colour change. I have been called to a lot of fields this year that growers thought were ready, as they are seeing this colour change from the road when, in fact, all of the seed is still green. Doug also indicated growers across western Canada are seeing this same colour change due to excessive heat and sun.

When determining seed colour change, find the main stem of the plant, and check the pods from the bottom up. Canola matures from the bottom up and the inside out, so while your main stem may be showing 50% colour change, your side branches may just be starting. If the skin rolls off the seeds between your fingers ( like an onion) then the seed is not mature. When I am scouting, I count any seed with a black or brown spot on it as changed.

With the harvest being so late this year, I do worry that growers will be swathing early in hopes of beating a frost. With these high temperatures of late, we can afford to wait the extra days to optimal seed colour change rather than risk the green seeds of swathing early. Doug states that maximium yeild can be acheived by swathing at 50-60% seed colour change. Waiting for this timing will pay off in the end, as shelling will be minimal when compared to a quality loss from a high green seed count.

Overall, take the time to look at your canola, segregate the maturity zones and decide where your highest yeilds are going to come from in the field. Focus on these areas and determine swath timing based on the best parts of the field. Also, dont be scared to swath in zones. If part of the field is ready 3 days before another, then come back to the greener areas later.

The Canola Council website offers great timing guides and articles on the subject of swathing if you are interested in further information.

Good luck and happy harvest.

Canola School – Lygus Bugs

August 9, 2009
In this edition of the canola school Matt Stanford of the Canola Council of Canada breaks down the issue of lygus bugs and their impact on the canola crop.  Knowing the correct timing for spraying is very important in terms of lygus bugs.  

Canola School: Do I Need To Spray Fungicide

July 31, 2009

When the canola canopy is thick and moisture is abundant applying fungicide is necessary.  Matt Stanford of the Canola Council of Canada helps you go through the process of why or why not in terms of applying fungicide this season.  

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Canola School: What’s in the Net

July 28, 2009

Matt Stanford of the Canola Council of Canada takes a close look at what bugs we find in the bug sweep net.  Cabbage seed pod weevils and lygus bugs can cause real havoc on the canola crop and Matt helps you identify them.  

Canola School: Proper Sweeping Techniques

July 25, 2009

Finding out what pests are in your canola field starts with sweeping for bugs.  It is essential that you do it correctly if you want to monitor the threshold levels.  Matt Stanford demonstrates the proper technique in the following video.  

CANOLA SCHOOL: Early Irrigation Management

June 27, 2009

Early irrigation management is very important to achieving yield targets. Matt Stanford of the Canola Council of Canada, provides great insight into how to properly manage your irrigation early on. Matt demonstrates the proper way to check for moisture and how to manage your wheel moves or pivots.

Canola School: Creating a Spraying Strategy

June 12, 2009

Weed Identification is key before you spray your canola crop.  Depending on whether you have a glyphosate, liberty or clearfield tolerant variety, your spraying strategy may be different depending on what weeds are in the field.  In this edition o the Canola School Matt Stanford of the Canola Council talks about how forming a spraying strategy is the key to success.  

Canola School: Plant Stand Counts

June 5, 2009

Plant stand is very important and in this segment of the Canola School, Matt Stanford of the Canola Council of Canada talks post seeding evaluation work that needs to be done.  Matt also talks about some of the adversity canola growers have been experiencing this year with seeding and plant stands across Western Canada.  

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Canola School: Taking Care of Your Canola Seed

April 29, 2009
In this segment of our Canola School, Matt Stanford of the Canola Council of Canada discusses how you should be caring for the canola seed you purchased.  Matt talks about why you should keep a seed sample and a blue tag from every lot of seed to help you if issues arise.  I tell customers that they should think of the blue tag as a receipt of quality.  Matt also discusses the need to be careful when loading your drill with canola seed and to be sure the seeder wind speed is set properly.  
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Canola School: Field Selection, Seeding Speed, Seeding Rate

April 22, 2009

In this segment Matt Stanford walks us through the key points in field selection, the proper canola seeding speed and obtaining the proper seeding rate. All three things are key factors in getting a great stand. In canola growing, cutting corners can cause pain through the growing season.