Topics for the month

A good time to test soils. Soil tests will help growers estimate nutrient removal and nutrient reserves to set fertilizer rates for next year. Ask for organic matter results for each test. Fields with high organic matter tend to provide more mineralized nitrogen to the crop, which may explain why some fields consistently yield higher than others even when treated the same way.

Hold off on tillage for next year’s canola fields unless you’ve truly weighed the risk versus reward. Is it really the best decision?

The seed decision. Variety comparison data from the new Canola Performance Trials should be available later this month. For grower who don’t want to wait to make some of those early buying decisions, there are also some other information sources that can provide insights regarding varieties’ agronomic characteristics and performance.

New insights for canola storage. As the outside air gets cold heading into winter, air cycles within stored canola until its core temperature reaches equilibrium with the outside air. This air movement can concentrate moisture, increasing the chances of heating. Preliminary research into bag storage systems is shedding some light on how this process in bags compares to our past experience with canola in bins, and implications for safe storage.

Please fill in our Canola Watch survey. You can help us improve Canola Watch for 2012. The survey has 37 questions and should take about 10 minutes. All survey replies received by November 30, 2011 will be entered into a prize draw. Three winners will be selected. Thank you to everyone who has already completed the survey. Click here for the survey.