Topics for the month

Soil sampling technique for fields where fertilizer bands didn’t disperse

Soil sampling this fall will reveal which and how much nutrients are in the soil after the 2021 growing season. This will help to determine the right rate of fertilizer for the 2022 yield goal. Some fields that were dry through most of 2021 may still have hot bands of fertilizer. How do you sample those fields? Crop nutrition specialists recommend sampling across the seed row to account for variability. If nitrogen was applied in a mid-row band on 20-inch centres, for example, collect samples every 10 inches in path perpendicular to the band. Collect more than the normal 16 to 20 soil cores for each composite. For phosphorus bands, it is best to avoid these when sampling, if possible. Sampling that includes these bands will often underestimate phosphorus needs. Right rate is one of the 4Rs of nutrient management. What fertilizer practices are the worst for losses.
For canola fertility and nutrient management research, check out these studies.

High storage risk for green dockage

With all the canola regrowth, a lot of swathed and straight combined canola went into storage with high levels of green dockage. This is a significant storage risk. Watch these bins closely. Even if the sample registers “dry”, pockets of high-green high-moisture dockage are likely present in the bin and can spoil quickly. Other common storage risk factors for 2021 include canola binned hot, small seeds and green seeds. Tips for drying tough and damp canola. Canola Research Hub blog on important considerations for canola storage.

One last shot at fall weed spraying

Warm weather has been optimal for fall weed growth and spraying conditions, but this nice weather will end. Fall is an excellent time to reduce weed competition, especially for perennials and winter annuals that will be bigger and harder to control in the spring. We don’t normally talk about spraying to control volunteer canola regrowth, but if you want to stop it from taking up any more nutrients and water, you may want to spray them, too. Fall weed control – Timing and targets. Products available to spray on fields planned for canola in 2022. The September 22 Canola Watch had answers to fall weed control questions.

’Tis the season for seed decisions

Did some canola cultivars harvest better than others? Did some yield better in tough conditions? Were disease levels higher than expected? These factors may have canola growers considering a change in canola hybrids for 2022. Before making a final decision, talk to neighbours, check local seed trial results from 2021 and Canola Performance Trial results from previous years, look for cultivars with different disease resistance traits, and look at seed treatment alternatives for flea beetle protection. And we have one strong recommendation this year – do not grow clubroot-susceptible cultivars! Choose the right cultivar for each field.