What pre-seed burnoff options will control kochia on fields planned for canola?
With kochia showing resistance to herbicides in Groups 2, 4, 9 and 14, “effective” tank mixes have become more of a challenge. Definitely do not use glyphosate (Group 9) alone. Effective options ahead of canola include Group-6 bromoxynil and Group-27 topramezone. (See Table 1 here.) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is working to confirm whether Group-14-resistant kochia populations are resistant to all Group-14 products, including carfentrazone and pyraflufen. For now, most kochia populations will still be susceptible to Group-14 pre-seed burnoff products, but if using a mix of Groups 9 and 14 for a pre-seed burnoff, monitor closely. Escapes may have stacked resistance and should be removed before they set seed. How to contain herbicide-resistant kochia
How can seeding practices lower the flea beetle risk?
Fewer plants = more damage per plant. Canola crops that establish quickly and have 5 to 8 plants per square foot usually face minimal risk from flea beetle feeding. (Emphasis on “usually”. Serious feeding can still occur on canola crops with good plants counts.) Scenarios that require multiple in-season foliar sprays are often the result of a slow-establishing non-competitive crop. A later seeding date may reduce the flea beetle risk if it means warmer soils and faster growth. If soils are dry, seeding down into moisture may allow for seed germination, but often results in poor emergence and an extended emergence period. With any delays, seed treatment protection may not last through the at-risk period. Other factors to improve crop establishment
What are the key steps in seeding tool preparation?
Seeding tools that achieve uniform depth for each seed and somewhat uniform seed counts and seed spacing through each opener will set up for a vigorous, same-stage crop. For a pre-season checkup of the seeding tool, inspect openers, hoses, seals, meters and tires. Also…
- If the seeding tool needs new parts, an early inspection will give time to get those parts ordered and delivered.
- Sanitize and clean off equipment to help control soil-borne diseases like clubroot and verticillium stripe.
- Try a sock test to see if the pathway from tank to opener causes excessive damage to the seed. (Described in this old Canola Watch article)
- Canola Watch podcast: Prep drill for uniform depth
- One-minute video: Preparing the drill for canola seeding
What are the key steps in sprayer preparation?
- A complete spring cleaning
- Nozzle assessment. Are currents nozzles the best for each job? We ask this because we’re thinking about better efficacy for flea beetle sprays. Insecticides require coverage and coverage often depends on medium, not coarse, nozzles.
- Planned pesticide list, especially if the list includes anything new. Make sure they’re all registered for the crop and the target pest.
What other preps and tests can be done in April?
- Fertilizer rate review. Lower fertilizer prices over the past few months may have farmers reviewing fertilizer rates, especially if the soil moisture situation looks OK. How much fertilizer does canola need? Fertilizer calculator
- Spring soil tests. Soil sampling just prior to seeding provides the most accurate measure of nutrients available to the crop. Check on turnaround times with labs and sampling service providers.
- Check herbicide records. Could carryover be an issue for canola, especially if switching crops out at the last minute? Saskatchewan report on carryover risk for 2023
- Sprayer water test. Water quality can affect pesticide performance. The end of this Saskatchewan article includes information on tests.
- Blackleg test. Got canola with different blackleg R genes and want to know where to put them? Test old stubble pieces (from the last time canola was grown on a field) to see what blackleg races are present.
- Test kochia seedlings for glyphosate resistance. PSI Labs has a quick DNA test of plant leaves.