Canola Continues to Battle Mother Nature

Environmental issues continue to dominate canola production across western Canada. Cool daytime temperatures with unseasonably cold nighttime temperatures occurred across the Prairies last week and over the weekend. All regions reported frost on multiple occasions with some areas experiencing frost four times last week. The most severe frost happened Friday night/Saturday morning where temperatures ranged from minus 1 °C to minus 7°C. The degree of frost is quite variable within an area as is the level of damage reported both within an area and within a given field.

Rainfall on Monday has again delayed seeding and reseeding in Manitoba. Broadcast seeding is expected to continue once fields are dry enough to support floatation equipment. Approximately 10% of the crop is yet to be seeded in Manitoba. In Saskatchewan and Alberta, where moisture is adequate for germination, emerged canola ranges from the cotyledon to the 4-leaf stage. Parts of east-central Alberta (east of Highway 21) and west-central Saskatchewan (Unity, Kerrobert, and Rosetown areas) missed the rains last week and require additional moisture soon. The extremely dry conditions continue to exist in the Castor, Coronation, Consort areas where canola is unable to germinate due to inadequate surface soil moisture. One of the local municipalities, the County of Paintearth, is in the process of being declared a disaster area.

The latest crop report from Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is available at:

The latest crop report from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is available at:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd4191#2009

Maps of current moisture conditions in western Canada from PFRA are available at: