Canola counting steps
The new CanolaCounts.ca tool was built in part to encourage canola growers to scout for plant establishment. A good understanding of plant establishment will help support key management decisions. Here are the steps to using CanolaCounts.ca: 1. Pick five representative, unique spots throughout the field (some ways to do this can be found in the video above). 2. Be sure only to count plants at the two-to-four leaf or later stage and always avoid counting volunteers. 3. Enter your plant densities and calculate emergence at CanolaCounts.ca. More information on how to use the tool is available in this video. More information about the Canola Counts program is available in this podcast.
Action threshold best bet for spraying flea beetles
Accurately assessing defoliation from flea beetle feeding isn’t easy. Photo image analysis is not yet reliable but might be available in the future. You still need an objective opinion of the percentage of defoliation, but be careful. Canola leaves with, say, 10 per cent defoliation can look terrible in your field but that doesn’t mean it’s time to spray. The rule of thumb for spraying flea beetles is to use the 25 per cent defoliation action threshold as a guideline. Check out this story for more information. This video presents key information on flea beetle thresholds. View the research guiding these recommended practices in this recent Canola Research Hub blog.
For best weed control, spray early
If your canola crop is in the one-to-four leaf growth stage, there’s no time like the present to get out and spray — and the earlier the better. Early weed control benefits plant establishment and preserves yield potential through reduced competition for nutrients and moisture. Weeds that emerge before or at the same time as the crop will cause the most significant yield loss if they are not controlled. Consult the Canola Encyclopedia entry on weed management for recommendations pertaining to the various stages of chemical weed control, including early in-crop spraying. This story explores the economics of early weed control. You can also check out this podcast for timely spraying tips.
Helpful links for scouting practices
Here are some links to tips for a number of crop factors canola growers should be scouting for:
Missing plants — what’s the cause? points out a number of culprits behind missing plants, including lack of seedbed moisture, excess moisture, and fertilizer toxicity.
Cutworms. Timely scouting and spray decisions.
Canola Encyclopedia seed treatment entry. This entry outlines best practices for seed treatment. This includes the need for scouting, which is still required for treated seed.