Quick hitters:

Bins can still heat in cold weather. Based on an informal show of hands at grower meetings, a low percentage of growers have checked their canola bins over the past month while weather has cycled between very cold and unseasonably warm. With all the off quality canola in bins across the Prairies, one can never assume their canola is safe — even when temperatures are minus 20°C. Please check your bins. Click here for more information.

What is your risk for glyphosate-resistant weeds? Glyphosate resistant weeds have been found in the U.S. and Ontario, so we know it can happen. Take the quick test at www.weedtool.com to see if your practices put you at risk.

Peace growers, consider a soil test. Dry conditions the past few years could mean high levels of residual fertilizer in some soils in the Peace River region. If more “normal” moisture conditions return for 2011, growers in the Peace could have the opportunity to generate a high-yielding canola crop without having to apply high rates of fertilizer. However, making this assumption without a soil test could lead to under-fertilizing, limiting yields in a year of good canola pricing opportunities.

Soil testing in winter. If you haven’t tested your soil, but would like to get a test done ahead of seeding, sampling in winter is an option. Click here for tips from last month’s Canola Watch.

Soil temperature and seeding date. While growers may be able seed in mid April in some years and in some locations, seeding that early increases the spring frost risk and usually results in a much wider germination window. This multi-stage and patchy crop presents challenges for weed control, disease management and harvest. For fast and more uniform emergence, which helps a crop mature earlier and more evenly, temperatures in the seed zone should average at least 4-5°C when measured over a 3-day period.

CCC welcomes 4 new agronomy specialists. The Canola Council of Canada has hired Greg Sekulic for the Peace region, Dan Orchard in Central Alberta, Shawn Senko for Eastern Saskatchewan and Kristen Phillips for Manitoba. Their email addresses are in the “Questions and Contacts” section of this newsletter.

Published on March 9, 2011