Issues of the week

Some canola growers are swathing canola at 10-15% seed color change because they’re worried about getting all their canola swathed before a heavy frost. If no serious frost in the forecast, leaving canola standing until it is closer to the optimum stage of up to 60% seed colour change may improve both yield and quality. Swathing at 10-15% seed color change or earlier on the main stem will mean that a lot of canola in upper pods and on side branches may be too immature to fill and/or cure adequately in the swath.

Bertha armyworm is at thresholds in some fields in east central Alberta and western Saskatchewan.

Do a pre-harvest scout for disease. Damage is much easier to spot at this stage, and sclerotinia, blackleg and clubroot are fairly simple to distinguish. Identifying diseases now will help with management in upcoming years. Scouting while on the swather works, too, as long as you don’t mind taking time to get off and examine these patches.

A few harvest tips for hot dry conditions: Swath at night or wait for cooler days. Make sure the combine isn’t cracking seeds or putting too much seed out the back. Put hot canola on aeration immediately after harvest.