Clint Jurke, agronomy director with the Canola Council of Canada, shows producers how to spot blackleg during harvest. | Jeremy Simes photo

Tis the season for disease scouting

With harvest underway, canola growers are reminded to look for signs of blackleg, clubroot and sclerotinia

Lacombe, Alta. — Canola growers ready to swath should watch for abnormalities in the field — diseases like blackleg, clubroot or sclerotinia could be rampant, say agronomists. In fact, now is the best time to be on the lookout, according to Clint Jurke, agronomy director with the Canola Council of Canada. “Swathing is your prime […] Read more

Homa Askarian, plant pathologist at the University of Alberta, shows a preserved clubroot sample. |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Clubroot spreads as new pathogens develop

Increasingly harmful strains have been identified in Western Canada and so planting canola resistant varieties is advised

OLDS, Alta. — Keeping ahead of clubroot may seem impossible, considering that 200,000 spores can piggyback on a gram of dust. The disease was first detected in four fields in 2003 and the latest report shows more than 2,440 infected fields in central Alberta. Rather than planting canola in the same field every year, farmers […] Read more

Matthew Kynoch of Enns Brothers told participants at Canolapalooza in Portage la Prairie, Man., that sprayer nozzle inspections are often overlooked. |  Ed White photo

Don’t just spray

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. — Farmers can find the money to buy sprayers but often don’t find the time to check their nozzles. It’s a problem that can result in waste of expensive chemicals, poor results with crops and drift problems for neighbours. However, it’s a problem many farmers don’t even realize they have. “In […] Read more

Canola Council of Canada harvest and storage specialist Angela Breckenreed says she often sees two to five bushels per acre in losses because growers fail to calibrate their monitors.  |  Ron Lyseng photo

Speed bumps seed dump

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. — High speed and bad combine settings might mean farmers are dumping thousands of dollars worth of seed on the ground, as some growers saw last week at CanolaPalooza in Portage la Prairie, Man. Seed loss cost can hit $2,360 on a 160 acre field if the operator is running only […] Read more

With a contaminated shipment, the worst situation would be that it’s returned or blocked at the country abroad. This means millions of dollars of losses to the exporters, the processors and others in the whole value chain, says Maxim Legault-Mayrand of the canola council. | Ron Lyseng photo

Canola growers warned against residues

PORTAGE la PRAIRIE. Man. — The Canola Council of Canada continues to express concerns about shipments being rejected by importing countries because of seeds contaminated with pesticide residues, blackleg traces or unregistered chemicals. The Council’s Maxim Legault-Mayrand talked to growers at CanolaPalooza in Portage la Prairie about importing countries becoming more resistant to any contamination […] Read more

In planning crop rotations, growers already consider weed and disease cycles, residual trash cover, residual fertility, commodity prices and more. University of Manitoba soil scientist Mario Tenuta, right, explains that producers should also consider the fact that canola creates a nasty environment the next year for crops like flax and corn.  |  Ron Lyseng photo

You grew canola. Now what?

PORTAGE la PRAIRIE, Man. — Crops dependent on early season phosphorus, such as corn and flax, can suffer stunted early growth if seeded into fields following canola because of changes in soil chemistry, according to Mario Tenuta, soil ecologist at the University of Manitoba. Corn and flax are both oil-bearing crops, but that’s merely a […] Read more

Rodney Werezuk of Alberta Innovates demonstrates a machine developed to simulate hail damage on crops. There are three units in the province where research is underway to see how fast crops recover after a hail storm. The unit was invented by Ken Coles of Farming Smarter in Lethbridge.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Hail simulator helps determine crop recovery expectations

LACOMBE, Alta. — A made-in- Alberta invention is researching hail damage and recovery in wheat, canola and pulses. Invented by Ken Cole of Farming Smarter in Lethbridge in 2015, the concept is simple. Chains with golf balls on the ends are attached to a rotating drum. The drum can be mounted on a small tractor […] Read more