Issues of the week

Cutworms continue feeding, flea beetles may still be a threat for late-seeded canola, and cabbage seedpod weevils have arrived on early-seeded canola in the southwestern Prairies.

Earliest crops are starting to flower, which means sclerotinia prediction time. Wet weather and a dense canopy at flowering should encourage higher rates of sclerotinia stem rot infection in regions where the disease has been present in the past. However, if the weather changes from late flowering through ripening it could inhibit infection and/or development of the fungus, reducing this potential for high rates of disease, as it did in some fields last year.

Wet conditions have prevented timely weed control for many growers. If weeds are plentiful and getting ahead of the crop, an aerial application may pay off if fields are too wet for a ground rig.

Remember to return unused unopened seed. Seed companies encourage growers to return all unused, unopened, undamaged bags to the retailer for a refund. The return-by date is soon for most seed suppliers. Seed carried over on the farm will lose germination if not kept cool and dry all year long, including through the summer.

Finally, we remind growers not to use malathion in bins planned for canola. Bin prep is one of many jobs done in the weeks between spraying and harvest. If bin treatment is necessary to remove storage insects, apply approved products (like diatomaceous earth) to bin surfaces prior to storing canola.