Canola Watch 2020 exam – Section 3 – Benefits of diversity

This is the third of seven sections for this year’s Canola Watch annual CCA/CCSC exam. By dividing the exam into seven separate sections, we are giving CCAs and CCSCs the opportunity to customize the exam based on credits they need and to take some in 2020 and some in 2021.

CCAs who achieve 70 per cent or better on this section will qualify for 0.5 CEU in Crop Management and 0.5 CEU in Soil & Water Management. CCSCs will get 1 CEU in Crop Management.

Credits will be applied in either 2020 or 2021, depending on when CCAs pass this section. For those who pass, Canola Watch will submit your name and CCA number to the CCA program to have the credits counted.

When writing this self-study exam, note that answers can be found in Canola Watch articles as well as Canola Watch videos, podcasts and Canola Encyclopedia and Canola Digest links from 2020. You can find the Canola Watch Issue Archives as well as the video and podcast libraries under the “Canola Watch” tab at the top of

For questions or additional information on this exam, please contact Jay Whetter at 807-468-4006 or

Consideration for landscapes and biodiversity can improve productivity and profitability, and enhance the public impression of agriculture. CCAs completing this section will pick up tips from 2020 experiences and see the benefits of diversity within farmed and non-farmed (natural or semi-natural) spaces.

REQUIRED - Your full name:

Your CCA number: (Leave blank if not applicable)

Your CCSC number: (Leave blank if not applicable.)

REQUIRED - Email address:

Phone number:

REQUIRED - What region best describes your work territory?
1. A January Canola Watch article, “What to do with acres that always lose money?”, says farmers have three good reasons to take chronically unprofitable acres out of annual crop production. Reason 1: Stop spending money on acres that don’t provide a return. Reason 2: Non-farmed spaces can increase yields for cropped acres. What is reason 3?
2. That same January article links to a more detailed Canola Digest article. The Canola Digest article explains how non-farmed (natural or semi-natural) spaces can increase yields for cropped acres. One example is shelterbelts. The article cites research on soybeans done at Ridgetown College in Ontario, which showed a ___ per cent increase in yield on the leeward side of the trees. Fill in the blank.
3. In the same Canola Digest article, Calvin Yoder, forage seed specialist Alberta Agriculture and Food, recommends a low-maintenance and long-lasting grass for those set-aside acres. He gives one particular grass species as an example. What is it?
4. Saline patches can be particularly troublesome. Crop productivity is low, which means they tend to fill up with weeds like kochia and foxtail barley. A March article gives tips to manage saline patches. It says tile drainage can be effective, but without irrigation to increase water infiltration, tile drainage can take _______ to show an improvement. Fill in the blank.
5. Spray drift can damage neighbouring crops and non-farmed spaces, but the 2020 herbicide spraying season saw day after day of excessive winds on many farms. A May article gives six tips for spraying in the wind. Which of these is one of the six?
6. In July, Canola Watch posted a podcast on rotations and how cropping diversity can help with clubroot management. (Find the podcasts here.) As part of the clubroot management recipe, plan for a break of at least _______ between canola crops as a way to keep clubroot spore counts low. Fill in the blank.
7. A July quiz called “Meet the beneficials” included this wasp, Diadegma insulare, which can do a lot of damage to which common canola pest?

8. In the answers section for the same quiz, John Gavloski, entomologist for Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, says there are ______ species of tiny parasitic wasps that lay eggs in various caterpillar species. Making pest management spray decisions based on thresholds is a good way to spray only when needed, thus protecting the beneficials. Fill in the blank.
9. An August article on lygus bugs included Episode 22 of the Canola Watch Agronomy Video Series. (Find the video catalogue here.) The short lygus bug video reminds farmers and agronomists to scout carefully and follow economic thresholds when making a decision to spray. When counting lygus in the sweep net, include adults as well as nymphs with what feature?
10. The Canola Encyclopedia, updated in 2020, is an important companion to Canola Watch. Keeping with the theme of this exam section, it provides lots of information on tillage and pest management practices that retain moisture and limit pesticide escape to the environment. The section on insecticide seed treatments says seed treatments use less insecticide than a foliar spray and ___________. Fill in the blank.