Topics for May 12, 2021

Using the canola calculator can be used as a key tool in determining your canola seeding rate.

Canola calculator can help determine seeding rate

Proper seeder calibration is an essential practice for achieving the stand you’re looking for. Here are four steps for better calibration. First, use the canola calculator to make sure your seed drill calibration matches your target stand, seed size, and expected emergence percentage. Watch the video above to get the most value from at seeding. Second, check the manual for the seeder and make sure the process of calibrating your equipment is well-understood. Third, while pausing to check on seeding depth, look in the seed tank to ensure that you are going through seed at a rate that matches your expectations. Finally — like all agricultural operations — be sure you’re well-rested and aware in order to minimize human error.

Shallow seeding key to target emergence

When planting into dry soils prior to mid-May, aim for a seeding depth of no more than one inch. At this point there is still time for rain to provide the moisture needed for germination and emergence and still extremely likely that rain will come. Deep seeding can delay emergence, leading to plant stress and increased seedling disease like wirestem (rhizoctonia). A stand that is less competitive with weeds (which may have gotten a head start) is more likely. Focus on packing pressure to ensure good seed-to-soil contact which will bring available moisture closer to the seed. Shallow seeding (0.5”-1”) is also a key tool in increasing canola seed survival rates. For example, seeding deeper to reach moisture also means seeding into cooler soil, often resulting in higher seed and seedling mortality.

Know your stuff before spraying in dry, dusty conditions

With dry conditions remaining stubbornly in place in some areas throughout Canada, some growers may find themselves spraying in dusty conditions. This can limit herbicide uptake in some circumstances. Although most crop protection products are not strongly affected by dust, a couple of extremely important herbicides are sensitive to it. Tom Wolf with Agrimetrix offers some tips for spraying in dusty conditions, while this Spraying tips for tough conditions article presents advice for
spraying in a number of difficult scenarios including — among others — dust, wind, rain and following a frost.

Know your flea beetle thresholds to minimize flea beetle damage.

Get your game face on for flea beetles 

It’s never too early to talk about flea beetles, one of the most common and destructive of all canola insect pests. Flea beetles first attack the plants at the seedling and early vegetative plant stages when they are at their most vulnerable. Seed treatment insecticides are an important tool in the toolbox of canola growers fighting flea beetles, followed by an optional foliar application if needed. Make the right flea beetle spray decision: 8 steps offers a good start point for crop protection decisions. The entry on flea beetles in the Canola Encyclopedia also features these eight steps plus a wide-ranging look at other management tips.