Trade show season brings out the novel products

You’ve probably seen promotions and exhibits in the past month for novel products to boost plant health, provide another nutrient source or improve nutrient uptake. Canola plants, like any other plant, need many different nutrients and rely on naturally-occurring hormones to grow and produce a good yield. Limitation on any of these may reduce yield potential, but in most cases, the biggest return on investment comes from the nutrients required in the greatest quantities, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur.

If your yields have plateaued and you can’t squeeze any more yield out of your land no matter how much you increase N, P and S rates, then you need to determine what is limiting further yield gains before investing in additional inputs. Is moisture the limiting factor? If moisture is plentiful and there is no other good explanation for disappointing yields, then perhaps consider a trial of potash, micronutrients or another novel product. Use soil tests to see what micronutrients may be limited. If you decide to try something new, find a uniform field, try one product at a time and leave an untreated check, ensuring both treated and untreated areas are accurately measured for final yield and grade so a true economic comparison can be made. Strip trials tips