Comfort builds for straight combining canola

New research and grower experiences are answering important questions about straight combining canola in Western Canada. Comfort with the practice rises as more growers explore where and when it might work and how to improve results

Dale Beutler of Whitewood, Sask. did not have a good first experience straight combining canola. It was 2015. Like many canola fields in the area that year, the one he left standing for straight combining had been reseeded and was late. By the first week of October, stems were still green —even though seeds were […] Read more


Real results from public canola research

Potential benefits include genetic resistance to sclerotinia and clubroot

Publicly funded canola genetics research is producing results in Canada. I recently heard presentations from the following scientists and was impressed with the potential for each project to increase yield or lower input and management costs for Canadian canola farmers. A new way to produce pure seed Tim Sharbel, a molecular evolutionary biologist at the […] Read more



Peaola continues to show promise

On their own, the peas and canola may only produce 60 per cent of normal, but that still adds up to a 120 per cent yield

Intercropping sometimes gets a bad rap from producers. For one thing, crop insurance often doesn’t cover intercropped mixtures, so if one or both crops fail, they’re out of luck. For another, yield benefits don’t always outweigh the extra legwork required at planting and harvest. But the promise of intercropping is that some crops can be […] Read more


Is strip tillage a residue solution?

We don’t want to see a step backward in reduced-tillage practices. So how can canola growers improve seed survival and crop uniformity in challenging residue situations?

The fall objectives: Make sure the chopper can spread the width of the cut. Have a chaff spreader to avoid the thick harrow-immoveable mat of chaff right behind the combine. Cut higher so more of the residue is standing stubble. If necessary, harrow the crop on a hot windy day. This is the no-till approach […] Read more



Cure canola longer, harvest more

When canola swaths are cured and dry, combines put a lot more canola in the tank and a lot less on the ground

Kristen Phillips already knew that combines capture more available yield when canola is cured and dry, but she was still surprised when she was harvesting one set of Ultimate Canola Challenge (UCC) plots this fall. The Canola Council of Canada’s UCC program for 2016 aimed to help identify agronomically and economically optimal nitrogen (N) rates […] Read more


Blackleg and canola can get along… until

Keys to restoring a healthy relationship between blackleg and canola include wider rotations of both crops and canola varieties with different resistance genes

After hearing many presentations on blackleg in canola, I was confused. I heard that disease pathogens usually harm their host plant, but blackleg doesn’t necessarily. In fact, blackleg and brassica species such as canola usually get along. On the other hand, we know that blackleg is now a major problem. Why? University of Manitoba professor […] Read more



To spray or not to spray?

A preventive canola spray for sclerotinia can pay off, but not necessarily for blackleg

Keith Gabert rarely tells Alberta canola producers straight up not to spray fungicide as a preventive against sclerotinia stem rot. But last year, the Canola Council of Canada’s agronomy specialist for central Alberta south did just that. “In the Drumheller area, where they don’t always have as much moisture, they’d sprayed for sclerotinia in the […] Read more


Is stored canola at bigger risk than ever?

Huge bins, straight combining and delivery contracts for June and July have all potentially increased the storage risk for canola. But the basics for safe storage — eight per cent moisture, 15 C or less and regular monitoring — still apply

We don’t really know whether canola in a 25,000-bushel bin stores differently from canola in a 2,000-bushel bin. We don’t know if straight combining reduces or increases canola storage risk. And we don’t know the best way to store canola for 11 months through fall, winter, spring and summer weather changes. Given that many canola […] Read more



Ultra-consistent canola stands, but with a price attached

Craig Shaw loved the results, and lower seed cost, 
but the pricey equipment is a major barrier

It’s one of those farming Catch 22s. On the one hand, the high cost of canola seed makes it tempting to minimize one’s seeding rate — on the other hand, a strong and consistent canola stand is key to good returns. In the American Corn Belt, producers have found a solution by repurposing their corn […] Read more


High disease risk sees many Manitoba canola growers spraying fungicide

A wet spring creates canola fields full of sclerotinia as flowering blooms

This season Manitoba canola growers shouldn’t be asking if they should be spraying fungicides — they should be asking themselves if there’s any possible reason they shouldn’t. Clinton Jurke, director of agronomy for the Canola Council of Canada, says it’s been a moist spring, yield looks good in much of the province and dense canopies […] Read more