By Autumn Barnes, CCC agronomy specialist for Alberta South
Driving to my sentinel site south of Enchant (about 35 minutes north of Lethbridge, AB) on Friday, May 11, I couldn’t help but think about how long of a winter we had, and how grateful I am to see green on the landscape again. I arrived at the field, which is actually two adjacent fields, and was thrilled to see some tiny canola cotyledons poking out of the ground. It was too early to do emergence counts, but I did manage to find some blackleg pycnidia on canola residue from 2016. We will have to keep an eye out for the disease this year. Go to blackleg.ca for a comprehensive look at the disease.
Enchant is a pretty dry area, but they had a few millimetres of rain last week and soil moisture was better than when the crop was seeded (on Friday May 4). At this site, there are two UCC trials. One is with the grower’s Bourgault air seeder and one is with a new John Deere drill they were demo-ing. The grower seeded at several different speeds with each drill and replicated the treatments across the site. For more info about the #canolaUCC protocol, click here.
While I was at the fields, I checked my aster leafhopper (ALH) and diamondback moth (DBM) traps. Neither of the pests were present, but I did find an alarming number of flies stuck to the ALH sticky traps. By-catch is pretty common with sticky traps and I got a good reminder to keep the ALH traps higher off the ground to prevent rodents from cleaning off the bottom portion. Data from these traps and others across the province are used to make insect forecast maps and to understand how these pests cycle across the Prairies. Click here for more information on insect pest monitoring in Alberta.
This Friday I will head north again to check these fields, do assessments in each of the UCC speed treatments and calculate emergence. If you have crop coming up on your farm, check out canolacalculator.ca where you can quickly enter the number of plants emerged, seeding rate and TSW to get your emergence percentage.