Quick Hitters:

Pre-harvest glyphosate tip. Some growers have a lot of big weeds to deal with at harvest. Pre-harvest weed control may be beneficial to speed up cutting and to keep green weed seeds and green weed material out of the combine hopper. Remember that pre-harvest glyphosate must be applied AFTER 30% seed colour change (which corresponds roughly to 30% moisture) so it doesn’t get into the seed. Apply glyphosate only during the period 7 to 14 days prior to cutting. Also note that glyphosate is not a desiccant nor will it hasten seed maturity.

Careful with Reglone on canola. Reglone does not hasten crop maturity. It shuts the plant down quickly and basically STOPS it from maturing, which can lock in high green levels. In 2009, there were a number of situations where growers applied Reglone to late maturing canola crops with the assumption that seed maturity would be accelerated. Unfortunately, the results after harvest showed very high green seed counts in samples sprayed with Reglone. The label is clear that Reglone should be used as a last resort for lodged canola crops only. Growers using Reglone on canola to be straight combined take note: Reglone can significantly increase both pod shatter and pod drop if harvesting is delayed, so be prepared to combine as soon green seed and seed moisture have reached suitable levels.

Think recropping restrictions on fields planned for canola in 2011. Click here for the list of products with residual action, including those registered for pre-harvest and post-harvest application. For more details on any of these products, please read product labels and your provincial guide to crop protection. Click your province for a link to your guide: Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba

Flea beetles have returned. We’ve had a few calls about flea beetle feeding late in the season. It’s not something to worry about. In her research, Julie Soroka with AAFC in Saskatoon found no effect from fall flea beetle feeding at numbers as high as 350 beetles per plant when canola is at translucent-seed to green-seed stages or later. She adds that this work was done in non-drought conditions.

Open pods to determine seed colour change. The ideal swathing time for yield and quality is when 50% to 60% of seeds on the main stem have at least some brown spotting on them. To determine this, you have to get into the field, identify the main stem, and then start opening pods from bottom to top. For more tips, click here to hear CCC agronomy specialist Erin Brock on ACPC radio and click here for a CCC how-to video.

Empty pods. While checking canola for seed colour change, farmers in dry regions of the Peace are noticing blanks on stems and that many pods are empty.  These are common responses to drought stress, as Murray Hartman, Alberta oilseed specialist, noted in his ACPC webinar of July 7. Click here to view.

Pressure from diamondback moth larvae is dropping in most regions, but some fields will still have high levels. For insight into diamondback moth biology and control, click here for an August 12 ACPC webinar on the pest. The presenter is Lloyd Dosdall, entomologist from the University of Alberta.