Issues of the week

High temperatures (as high as mid 30’s in some areas) are occurring across the Prairies as swathing timing nears. Swathing under such hot conditions can result in rapid dry down (moisture loss) but longer curing (time for green seeds to clear chlorophyll). Swath as close to 60% seed colour change (SCC) as is practical under these hot conditions and do not swath during the heat of the day. Click here to hear Canola Council agronomist Dan Orchard’s general tips on how to scout and assess for proper swath timing. For those that listened to this information last week, click here to hear Canola Council agronomist Doug Moisey’s swath timing tips for more specific situations (e.g. how to choose swathing timing when dealing with large acreages, uneven plant maturity, or frost or hail damage). 

Insect pressure is easing but still hearing reports of lygus and bertha armyworm spraying. Keep scouting for late-season insects in late maturing crops.

It is crucial that all of Canada’s canola is Export Ready. If spraying for late-season insects or spraying herbicides for crop dry down or desiccation always read and follow product labels. All crop protection products have been granted a specific registration by PMRA for product rate and pattern of use (e.g. stage of crop during application). Only products that have a registration for the desired use (e.g. pre-harvest) can be used. Pay particular attention to product pre-harvest intervals (which is the time between spraying and cutting).

Strong winds in Manitoba on Tuesday continued through the night and into Wednesday. There are reports of significant swath movement (and subsequent shattering) especially in fields with short canola – not enough stalk and weight to hold the swaths down. The best defense is to start combining as soon as moisture and green seed levels are acceptable. Green seed levels can be monitored quickly by inserting a scoop shovel underneath the swath and use your hands to thresh pods near ground level into the shovel. These plants will have cured more slowly and if any plants have higher green counts, it will be these ones. If this sample rolls out with acceptable green, then the field may be ready and time can be taken to get a field sample (for moisture and green seed) with the combine.