Science

Take care of beneficial insects

Bees and other pollinators are most active when the crop is flowering. Avoid spraying insecticide on flowering canola. If this is unavoidable, apply products to flowering canola after 8:00 p.m. until dusk, or into night, when bees aren’t actively foraging. Follow thresholds when making spray decisions. For more information, go to www.canolawatch.org and search for the article “Bee BMPs.”
Key practice: Use insecticides judiciously and employ strategies that may increase populations of some beneficial insects and reduce mortality of some parasitoids. These strategies include reducing tillage, leaving tall stubble to improve overwinter survival and intercropping. Key research: Dosdall, Lloyd, University of Alberta. “Improved Integrated Crop Management with Beneficial Insects.” Canola Digest Science Edition (2013)....
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Science

Improve nitrogen use efficiency

Improved nitrogen use efficiency could provide a significant economic gain, given that nitrogen is one of canola growers’ single biggest input costs. “Nutrient use efficiency from fertilizer application is generally less than 50 percent in the year it is applied. Improvements in nutrient use efficiency are therefore critical, both to improve the economics of crop...
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Science

Ensure all crop inputs are working together

Key practice: Recommended fertilizer rates and seeding rates that provide for a competitive stand will make canola more resilient against weeds, insect damage and disease. Key research: Brandt, S.A., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), et al. “Seeding Rate, Fertilizer Level and Disease Management Effects on Hybrid Versus Open Pollinated Canola (Brassica napus L.).” Effective pest...
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Science

Phosphorus is often under-applied

Key practice: In the seed row is the best time and place for the first 15 to 20 lb./ac. of phosphate — which is the amount most likely to produce an economic return in the year of application. However, this rate is not enough to match crop removal, which may lead to phosphorus shortages over...
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Science

Genetics will reduce harvest losses

A recent study by Andrea Cavalieri with the University of Manitoba found that pod shatter is primarily impacted by genotype, while environment is the dominant driver for pod drop.
Key practice: Canola varieties with pod shatter tolerance have arrived. Pod shatter tolerance adds more flexibility for harvest timing, allowing crops to stand longer with fewer losses. Key research: Cavalieri, A., University of Manitoba, et al. “Pod Drop and Pod Shatter Are Not Closely Related in Canola.” Crop Science (2014). Gan, Y., Agriculture and Agri-Food...
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