When rain stops harvest progress, consider these jobs:
1. Do an end-of-season plant count. Five canola plants per square foot is generally considered the minimum for canola to reach its yield potential. If the average is lower than five, consider what may have caused this thin stand and plan to make amends, if deemed necessary or possible, to improve stands for next year. How to do plant counts.
2. Do some fall fertilizer planning. One step is to check out prices for fertilizer. If phosphate prices are lower than usual, this might be a good fall to top up P levels in fields that are short. Place orders and perhaps pick up fertilizer, but note that application of products that contain nitrogen are best done closer to freeze up.
3. Prep bins for canola storage. Clean them out to remove all other seeds, dockage, treated seeds and animal protein. Don’t use malathion in canola bins. Read more.
4. Check bins that already have harvested canola in them. Make sure the fans are on. On cool days, consider taking out a few loads to cool them down and break up potential hot spots forming in the central core. Podcast on conditioning tips.
5. Ground-truth patches seen while swathing or pre-swath scouting to determine why areas may have been lodged or prematurely ripened. Diseases to look for.
6. Complete a disease survey to identify incidence and severity of blackleg, sclerotinia stem rot and other disease populations to help with long term management of each field. How to do a scientific random survey.
7. Sign up for the Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program. When you submit your sample, you will be supporting the marketing of Canadian grain and research projects at the Grains Research Laboratory that benefit all producers as well as getting information on the quality of your grain sample. Read more.
8. Read the September issue of Canola Digest, which includes a farmer panel on swath timing and great content from CCC’s agronomy specialists.
9. Scout your harvested fields and make a weed control plan. Read more on fall weed management.
10. Utilize your farmer ingenuity to devise a way to improve CFL officiating (says a disgruntled Saskatchewan Roughriders fan). This might inspire you.