Topics for the week

Combine settings this week not the same as September 1

Combine settings that worked four weeks ago to keep canola losses to a minimum may not be the right settings this week. Check again for losses, and modify settings. Consider how quickly threshing conditions change in the evenings in late September. (Combine optimization tool) (Harvest loss calculator) (13 tips from Combine College) (Minimizing grain loss during harvest)

Weeds: Take advantage of warm fall days

A long fall can mean lots of weed growth. For better herbicide efficacy, spray on sunny days with predicted highs above 15°C. Start the spraying day after temperatures reach 10°C. (See the “Fall” section here.) Look at the weed spectrum in each field before making a plan. Perennials such as thistles and dandelions are best controlled from mid-September to early October, ideally before a killing frost. These weeds also need time after cutting to accumulate new leaf tissue to absorb herbicides. Winter annuals such as narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard, stork’s-bill, annual sow thistle (common and spiny) and cleavers are best controlled from October until freeze up. (Fall weed control – timing and targets)

Consider crop rotation when choosing herbicides. Growers have limited options on fields planned for canola next year. (Scroll to table at the bottom of the link.)

This week in scouting

  • Fall stubble counts. Fall counts put yield and quality in perspective, which can help with seeding rate decisions next year. Check for uniformity across fields, and try to figure out reasons for poor uniformity. Compare harvest counts to spring emergence counts. (A good reason to count stems at harvest) (Enter counts into Canola Counts tool)
  • Verticillium stripe. Harvest, even shortly after harvest, is a good time to scout for verticillium stripe. Collect suspicious stem samples and send them for testing.
  • Clubroot soil testing. When collecting soil samples to check for the presence of clubroot, target fields that are going into canola next year…not fields that were in canola this year. (How to collect soil samples for clubroot)
  • Fall soil nutrient tests. This week is still too early for an accurate nitrogen test. Wait until after soil has cooled to at least 10°C. If sampling has to occur now due to logistics, expect that mineralization will still occur with warm moist conditions. Cool soils reduce the microbial activity that can mobilize nutrients. If farms plan to band fertilizer in the fall, sampling when soils drop to 10°C (not too much lower) should allow for fall application before the ground freezes.
  • Weeds. Look at the weeds present. Perennials can be sprayed now. Winter annuals may benefit from waiting. (Fall weed control – Timing and targets)

Hot canola is a storage risk

With a hot week in the forecast, a lot of canola will go into storage hotter than people would expect for late September. Canola binned hot, even if it has low moisture, low dockage and low green, should be put on aeration to cool it down. Try to get canola down to below 15°C at harvest time, then turn fans on again in the early winter to bring it down even lower. (Factors that increase storage risk)