Canola Digest Science 2014 Issue
Science

Harvest prep starts in the spring

Studies have found that lower harvest losses in canola are associated with higher yield potential, especially when straight combining. This could be attributed to the additional strategies high-yielding growers carry out earlier in the season, such as seeding early, early weed control and frequent field scouting.
Key practice: Reducing harvest losses starts with strong crop establishment, adequate fertilization, early weed control and frequent scouting. Key research: Liu, C., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), et al. “Evaluation of On-Farm Crop Management Decisions on Canola Productivity.” Canadian Journal of Plant Science (2014). Watson, P.R., Alberta Research Council, et al. “Canola Harvest Management Study.”...
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Science

Aim for uniform stands

Key practice: Uniform stands, with the same number of plants per square foot across the field and with plants at the same growth stage, are proven to increase yields. Key research: Angadi, S.V., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), et al. “Yield Adjustment by Canola Grown at Different Plant Populations under Semiarid Conditions.” Crop Science 43...
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Science

Potassium deficiency shows first in cereals

Potassium deficiency symptoms will show up in cereals well before it shows up in canola. As you can see in this photo, potassium deficiency in barley looks a lot like leaf diseases. Soil tests and tissue tests may help identify the problem.
Most canola crops grown in Western Canada are not short of potassium because most Prairie soils have sufficient potassium levels. Sandy soils with low clay content are most likely to be short of potassium, especially if those fields have been in forages where a large percentage of the biomass is removed each year. Cereals in...
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Science

Wait for 60 percent seed colour change

By delaying swathing until 60 to 70 percent seed colour change on the main stem, canola fields have been shown to produce higher seed weights, greater oil content, lower green seed percentage and a higher grade.
Growing spring canola in the moderately short growing season of the Canadian Prairies always tests the tipping point between maximum maturity time (to produce maximum yield) and avoiding the first frost. With growers taking on more acres than ever, the time crunch at harvest can make it tempting to begin swathing early. But the yield...
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Science

Earlier seeding generally increases yield

Early spring seeding typically benefits canola yield and quality. An early planting date enables the crop to take advantage of good spring moisture, avoid some heat stress at flowering, and reduce the risk of fall frost damage. Key practice: Crops seeded early (in late April or early May, depending on the region) will out-yield canola...
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