We have moved into fall and winter mode, with Canola Watch coming out once a month from now on until late April or May — depending on when field work starts next spring. The focus for the next 7 months will be on events coverage, science reports, storage issues, and planning for next year. Also look for special Canola Watch bulletins from time to time, including later this month when we release the Canola Performance Trials variety comparison results for 2012.
Generally pleasant fall weather provides an opportunity for fall weed control, and for soil sampling. When it comes to soil sampling, how the samples are collected will effect what information can be gleaned from the results. Submitting one composite 0-6” sample from 20 randomly distributed sample locations in each field this fall may provide the simplest, least expensive snapshot of residual soil nutrient levels following this year’s crop. However, while this can be used to estimate the average fertilizer requirements for the next crop to be planted in that field, other sampling patterns may be more appropriate if you wish to track soil nutrient levels over years, or vary your fertilizer rates over the landscape to improve efficiency.