Latest articles


The swede midge threat

Swede midge continues to confound Near North canola growers, and it could migrate farther south

By 2015, Terry Phillips, then chair of the Ontario Canola Growers Association, was advising growers in Ontario’s Near North to stop planting canola on farms that had been hit by the recent arrival of the swede midge. By then, yields were already getting cut by as much as 50 per cent by the pest, with […] Read more


Clubroot calls for diligence, not alarm

The surprise discovery of clubroot in Ontario will force canola growers to adapt to the disease now in order to avoid future complications

In the mid-2000s, Albert Tenuta raised a few eyebrows when he referred to the discovery of soybean cyst nematode east of Toronto as good news. The field crops pathologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) meant that once the pest was identified, it could be monitored, and growers could better […] Read more



A nutrient-deficiency flare-up in canola

Everything goes along smoothly for decades, and the same old fertilizer combo produces the same old predicable results. Then soil levels for a particular nutrient dip below the critical threshold and plants grow funny and yields go askew. It happens

Jack Wood noticed strange patches of stunted canola in a field in 2013. By swathing time, those patches were clearly messed up. Pods were short and deformed. Stalks were skinny, and in the resulting windrows, the yield monitor dropped from 40 to just five bu./ac. One adviser said it was heat blast. Wood wasn’t so […] Read more


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