No doubt that this spring has been especially challenging for canola establishment. Cool and dry conditions in many areas resulted in less than ideal emergence. Late-frosts have now thinned stands in many areas where emergence was adequate. Canola fields with low plant densities are more vulnerable to losses from insects, weed competition and environmental stresses such as fall frosts. Crops with low plant densities need to be managed more intensely. More frequent and intensive scouting for pests (insects and weeds) is critical because any losses are more likely to reduce yield. Action thresholds for pest control may need to be adjusted downward because the crop’s tolerance for damage is lower and for any insect populations the feeding will be focused on fewer plants. Consider establishing a tramline by driving an ATV in an X or W pattern in the field to establish pathways for crop scouting.
More information on managing poor stands is available at: