Issues of the week

Some seeding has begun in southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan, but many other areas have snow-covered fields and soggy ground. When seeding does begin, the rush will be on.

With the late start, the benefits of careful seed placement still apply — and perhaps more than ever. Taking an extra day or two at seeding to create a uniform well established canola field may save up to a week at harvest as these crops tend to mature earlier than spotty crops with low plant counts.

Canola establishment also depends on early weed control. Many fields will see an overall economic benefit if sprayed first and then seeded 1-5 days later — depending on weeds targeted and weather conditions.

We don’t have an insect article this week, but Scott Meers with Alberta Agriculture says cutworm activity has been reported on alfalfa and winter triticale in the Lethbridge area. The species is quite likely army cutworm, he says, which overwinters as larvae in fields that were green heading into the winter. The insect season has begun. Scott’s next #ABbugchat on Twitter will be Wednesday May 15 at a time to be determined. Follow @ABBugcounter. While you’re at it follow @CanolaWatch and the CCC agronomists.

Finally, be safe. We can’t control Mother Nature, but at the same time, we can’t let the late spring control us either. Handle products safely. Get the sleep you need to be alert. Take naps when necessary.