The Parkland region, in general, experienced more rain throughout the season. Many acres were drowned out, and others that survived faced rains every few days. This was perfect for disease, and in these regions, disease — sclerotinia stem rot in particular — was the biggest yield limiting factor. Big lush plants also made the crop a lot more attractive to insect issues. Regular rains may have impeded timely crop protection applications.
Management for 2013: Take advantage of the subsoil moisture and yield potential it brings by getting a good plant population established early, as more advanced plants will cope better with any wet conditions and utilize more moisture. Scout closely for insects and definitely plan on fungicide to protect the crop from sclerotinia. Growers may want to have crop protection products delivered ahead of time so they or the custom applicator can spray the moment a field is ready.