Again this year, canola crops with blanks or missing pods on the main stem are being found. Typically, a missing pod can result from any stress on the plant because stress inhibits proper fertilization of the flowers. It is important however, to accurately determine the cause of the stress in order to take steps to reduce its impact on future crops. A number of factors that can cause blanks to occur include: heat stress, moisture stress (excess or drought), fertility issues, or herbicide stress.
Murray Hartman, oilseed specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, at Canola School shared scouting tips to help determine when and why a plant may produce blank pods.
A factsheet on blank pods and why they form is available for download here.