COVID-19 and spring planning

Retails are going strong providing seed, fertilizer, crop protection products and fuel for farms. Things are moving earlier than usual as a precautionary measure in case retails run into COVID-related issues of their own. (Sick staff, ever-changing regulations, etc.) While Canola Watch is not a hub for COVID-19 updates, here are a few tips that might help with spring preparations:

–Farmers and agronomists are encouraged to check with local retails on their pick-up procedures going forward. Things tend to change often.

–When buying glyphosate for pre-seed burnoff, consider adding tank mix partners to the shopping list. Here are the tank mix partners available for use on fields planned for canola.

–Farm managers write out detailed seeding plans for 2020 just in case you get sick and someone else (family member, neighbour, agronomist) has to do the job while you’re recovering. This Twitter thread has some tips.

–As part of this planning, enter seed weights into the to figure out seeding rates specific to each seed lot and each field. Print or record seeding rates for each seed lot you get.

–Check with soil test labs to see if their practices have changed in light of COVID-19. For spring soil tests, the ideal timing (that strikes a balance between farm logistics and useful test results) is early spring sampling done after the soil has thawed and is no longer saturated from snow melt. Note that some sampling can be done by well-equipped agronomists prior to frost melt. The Canola Encyclopedia has a section on sampling techniques and timing.

–Cleaning for clubroot. Just like social distancing and hand-washing help limit the spread of COVID-19, good agronomic hygiene can limit the human-influenced spread of clubroot from field to field on machinery, boots and tools. See our new video, below.

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